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Remembering those forgotten; JOSE GUADALUPE POSADA

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Hi there!

Most of you already know her. You know her as La Catrina.
Some of you also know and relate her to the Mexican festivity of Dia de Muertos (http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1304551 give it a read, please) but a very very few relate to her creator, Jose Guadalupe Posada.

José Guadalupe Posada (February 2, 1852 – January 20, 1913) born in Aguascalientes, Mexico was a sharp political printmaker and engraver whose work has influenced many Latin American artists and cartoonists because of its satirical acuteness and social engagement. He used skulls, calaveras, and skeletons to make political and cultural critiques.

Jose Guadalupe Posada was born on February 2 of 1852 , in the Encino neighborhood of the city of Aguascalientes . His father Germán Posada Serna and his mother Petra Aguilar Portillo, fathered eight children, including: José María de la Concepción, José Cirilo, Joseph Barbaro, Jose Guadalupe, Ciriaco, and María Porfiria. After learning to read and write with his brother Jose Cirilo, Posada entered the Municipal Academy of Drawing of Aguascalientes. Subsequently, in 1868 , he was apprenticed in the lithographic workshop of Trinidad Pedroza. Some of his early caricatures of political criticism were published in The Jicote, opposition newspaper the government of Jesus Gomez Portugal . He began his career making drawings, copying religious images and as an assistant to a pottery workshop.

"El Jicote" where Posada published his first works.

... The newsboys would shout things like: "The horrific crime of the horrific child who killed his horrorfic mother", "Terribles and awful havoc", "Mutiny on the Volador". And the visual chroniclers, of which there were many among them uniquely highlighted José Guadalupe Posada, were the ones who were responsible for drawing such facts.

According to research by historian Agustin Sanchez Gonzalez, there were more than 70 newspapers, weeklies, vespertinos- in Aguascalientes, Leon and Mexico City; newspapers in many different currents: the same Catholics and commercial, that of workers.

It was a time when there was no development of photography and where most, 80%, was illiterate. So illustration was the best resource to learn the stories, which were often invented, which were adorned with a generous dose of scandal and where alike "had" murders portentous discoveries.

Posada published for more than four decades in newspapers, from 19 years until his death-and, strictly speaking, beyond his death because still a few months after his drawings were appearing as if he were alive.

Excerpt from http://archivo.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/896953.html

Horrible times indeed. Even the fucking devil is pickpocketing some poor shmuck...

I can't even imagine ...

In 1872 , Posada and Pedroza decide to settle in Leon , Guanajuato , where they became involved in commercial lithography. In Leon, Posada opened his own studio and worked as a teacher of lithography at the School of Secondary Education also made lithographs and woodcuts illustrating boxes of matches, documents and books. In 1873 he returned to Aguascalientes where he married Maria de Jesus Vela in 1875 . The following year he bought the press to Trinidad Pedroza. From 1875 to 1888 he continued to work for several newspapers of Leon, including La Gacetilla, El Pueblo Caóticoa and education. He managed to survive the strong flood of Leon occurred on June 18, 1888, he published several lithographs depicting the tragedy in which more than two hundred and fifty bodies were found and more than one thousand four hundred people missing were reported. in late 1888 he moved to Mexico City in where he learned the craft of printmaking techniques in lead and zinc. He worked for the newspaper La Patria Ilustrada and La Revista de Mexico and into the early months of 1890.

Cover of "La Patria Ilustrada" Feb 25 1889. Probably a magazine for ants.

He started working with Antonio Vanegas Arroyo , until he could establish his own lithographic workshop. Thereafter Posada undertook a job that earned him acceptance and popular admiration for his sense of humor, prone to dramatic and artistic quality. In his work, wide and varied, Posada portrayed the beliefs and ways of life everyday of popular groups, criticizing government abuses and exploitation of the people. In addition, he illustrated the famous "calaveras" allusive verses to death along with his other illustrations, were distributed in newspapers and flyers. In 1893 he worked erratically for Gil Blas newspaper which was addressed to the class poor of the people and antiporfirista dye.

"VIVA ATOTONILCO MENDIGOS!!!!!!!!" **in my head what that calaca is yelling

Despite their varied and popular work the recorder was not as recognized as other contemporary artists. It was not until his death that began valuing its aesthetic as true folk art, and specifically through the recognition of Diego Rivera, who gave great publicity to his work.

Ewww!! cooties!!!

His Style

His criticism images, evidence of inequality and existing social injustice in Porfirian society, questioned his morality and his cult of modernity, but their criticisms were not substantive, tending to his editorial line, described with originality the spirit of Mexican people from political affairs, daily life, his terror by the end of the century and the end of the world, in addition to natural disasters, religious beliefs and magic. For his style and subject employed, Jose Guadalupe Posada, is considered a popular artist, from the people who nurtured his work of Mexican popular imagination and who spoke as public.


He was regarded by Diego Rivera as the prototype of the artist of the people and its valiant defender, he even declared himself as the son of Posada and Catrina in his mural Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park. It is also considered a precursor of Mexican nationalist movement arts. Famous for his drawings and etchings about death. Passionate about drawing political cartoons. He developed new printing techniques. He worked and founded major newspapers. He consolidated the feast day of the dead, for his interpretations of everyday life and attitudes of Mexican skulls by acting like ordinary people.

Detail from Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central

http://s1.thingpic.com/images/dV/UKDVJKPa8c1tDgDu6nnQLXzA.jpeg << Huge pic of the actual painting.

The center of the mural is dominated by the elegantly dressed skeleton La Calavera Catrina holding arms with the Mexican graphic artist who first conceived and drew her, José Guadalupe Posada in a black suit and cane. La Catrina wears a Feathered Serpent boa around her shoulders. On La Catrina's right she is holding hands with a child version of Diego Rivera in short pants. Rivera's wife Frida Kahlo is standing just behind and between him and La Catrina; Kahlo has her hand on Rivera's shoulder and she is holding a yin-yang device. La Malinche and Posada are staring directly into each other's eyes.

During his work as an illustrator for newspapers, Jose Guadalupe soon revealed as an extraordinary artist, often contrary to the rules of the Mexican academic painting, which runs until the early twentieth century. However, their best abilities were in printmaking and especially in a new crudest and vigorous technique: lithography. Posada was an excellent recorder in metal,

Fuck yes. He was

He made illustrations and political cartoons in several printers and some newspapers. In his fruitful creative life he was persecuted and attacked because its subject always emphasized by criticism and denunciation of atrocities and injustices committed by the regimes that ruled the country.

Posada is an artist present in the daily life of society. In his work he rescues relevant national historical episodes and describes Mexican society in wartime. His work quickly spread through flyers, colorful, simple paper capable of being carried by the wind, but present in everyday life leaves. In La Patria Illustrated lithographer work develops a genre that is aimed at the elite, but falls within the tradition of liberal, nationalist and progressive graphic. In the illustrations he made for the printing of Vanegas Arroyo and Montes de Oca, retained the manners and liberal approach but makes a graph of purely cultural. In the Gil Blas Comedian and El Popular, the artist drawing caricatures criticizing abuses and inconsistencies of the Diaz regime.

Since the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 until his death in 1913, the master Posada worked tirelessly in the press aimed at workers. His first work in workshops and small presses, gave him the opportunity to develop their artistic skills as a draftsman, engraver and lithographer; by that time, he made some satirical illustrations that appeared in the magazine Jicote. He was critical of the government of Francisco I. Madero and campaigns by Emiliano Zapata .

He illustrated corridos, crime stories and passions, apparitions and miracles. He portrayed and caricatured all kinds of characters: revolutionary, political, shot, drunkards, peladitos, highwaymen, dandies, elegant ladies, charros, bullfighters and workers. He also illustrated the famous "calaveras" (verses alluding to the death that were illustrated with living skeletons personified) Posada genre that developed in an extraordinary way. He clothed the skeleton in the skull: the essence of sorrows and joys of the people.

Broadside shows a male skeleton dressed in a charro outfit wielding a machete in a graveyard, apparently in the process of creating more skeletons–a crowd of skeletons surround him and skulls lie at his feet. The text block is decorated with four small skulls. (1910)

Broadside showing a large skeleton hypnotizing a group of skulls and a sitting skeleton; an electric car with skeletons riding in it is in the background. The text is a calavera in verse conveying the fascination with the modern wonder of electricity as used in Mexico City’s trolleys (1907)

“The calavera of the morbid cholera” – a broadside showing a man with the body of a snake in the center of a group of skulls, representing the disease cholera, his arms are outstretched and tongue out, flying insects surround him. The skulls that surround him are depicted with worldy objects. The image is accompanied by a sarcastic and ironic ballad describing how cholera has afflicted the various social classes of Mexican society. Death kills everyone, regardless of the their place in society(1910)

Las Calacas de Posada are in most cases associated with the Day of the Dead , as interpreted life and social attitudes of the Mexican people, represented in his prints with skulls dressed in gala, skulls party neighborhoods in urban streets in the houses of the rich. He drew skulls mounted on horses, on bicycles, with pointing the scourges, poverty and political mistakes of the country. Is the original case of La Catrina o garbancera Skull, retaken years later by Diego Rivera , the engraving represents a mockery of indigenous enriched during the Porfiriato who despised their origins and customs, copying European fashions.

Las Calacas were a fusion of visions pre-Columbian, colonial and popular, which more than capture a solemn and dramatic feeling, were a playful, fun and full of vitality illustration. The difference in the representation of death in the engravings of Posada, is that it seems to enjoy everyday life without scaring anyone, which transcends the 1st and 2nd of November. Las Calaveras are part of an expression of popular art, are a creation in which the author 's name and the time is lost, are embodied in history.

His works are preserved, among other institutions, the National Institute of Fine Arts , the Museum José Guadalupe Posada in Aguascalientes and the Museum of Graphic Arts in Saltillo, Coahuila, in addition to private collections.

Posada had a very wide production of drawings, posters and prints were distributed in all regions of the republic, adding at least five million copies.

Posada remains a permanent representation in Mexican life and culture. Its so everyday art, being discovered by critics and colleagues, went beyond our borders and is considered up to artists like Goya, Picasso and the Mexican muralists.

The recovery of the iconography of Posada not exhausted with the generation of postrevolutionary artists, rather it became a constant source of inspiration for generations, multiplying and diversifying according to particular ways of interpreting the messages transmitted by their work.

The validity of the work of José Guadalupe Posada clearly identified in a series of creations achieved in recent decades, from various media and techniques. Posada beyond his death, and their dead, lives and is an important presence and cultural expression of Mexican art.

Ironically, and despite all his varied and popular work he was not as recognized as other contemporary artists until decades after his death by french artist Jean Charlot, who edited his plates and reveals the influence of Posada on artists of later generations.

Great artist, a tireless worker and a great master at engraving, Posada died as poor as he was born, on January 20, 1913 in Mexico City. His remains unclaimed, were buried in a mass grave.

All of his works are in the public domain. Knock yourself out to google them.
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