Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
José Guadalupe Posada
José Guadalupe Posada (Aguascalientes 1852) is one of the pillars in the history of Mexican graphics. He was born in the heart region of his country; being spiritually enriched by the popular culture, Posada knew how to interpret its sense and turn it into his own sui generis artistic expression.
As a faithful interpreter of his time and tradition, Posada´s graphic work is full of a sharp satyr, that captures the prehispanic cult of death. The representative Mesoamerican character becomes the hard core of his entire graphic work. Engraving was his technique, the satyr his way of working. Making justice and creating a certain consciousness of his people towards a visual culture were his objectives, so that everybody, even the illiterate, could understand what was happening around them. As a passionate of graphics, he soon created his own language, establishing a tight connection between the Mexican people and his work. It is this way that a popular collection of images has been built up.
Skulls designed by Posada are the deepest and most symbolic pattern of his world, due to their implicit social and vindictive critics, little used at the time. The skulls could belong to anyone: to a baker or to a lady as well. The image of the skulls together with what has been mentioned before on his invincible spirit of criticism get more significance than a mere remembrance of the death of any being.
Due to its orginality, Posada´s artistic work gained international recognition and contributed to the innovation of Mexican graphic arts.
A great sketcher and engraver, José Guadalupe Posada influenced Mexican artists, particularly José Clemente Orozco, y Diego Rivera. They viewed Posada as a predecessor of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and of the nationalist movement in the Mexican plastic arts.
On the opportunity of exhibiting Posada´s graphics (arround 100 engravings) at the Galeria Centralis of Budapest, the Embassy of Mexico presents a posthumous homage to this excellent faithful and trustworthy interpreter of the Mexican national soul.