The Fullerton Museum Center opened a new exhibit on February 19 that follows the legendary printmaker of Mexico, Jose Guadalupe Posada. The exhibit showcases much of Posada’s work such as his broadsheets (what he’s most known for), game boards, chapbooks, and printing plates.
Posada found work in Mexico City for a multitude of publishers but it was Antonio Arroyo who the artist would have an immortal relationship with and create the art style of the Calavera. Posada is responsible for retiring the more ghoulish skeleton design and popularizing the animated character calavera imagery that we see in Mexican culture today. His calavera artwork subject matter would fluctuate from a bundle of skeletons having a party (Gran Fandango Y Francachela), taunting Mexicans that were adopting European culture (Catrina), to criticizing the economic hierarchy from the president of Mexico (Calavera de Madero). Posada tried to advocate for what needed change on his broadsheet drawings to bring awareness to social and political issues.
Curator Consuelo G. Flores said, “He [Posada] knew that a good portion of his audience was illiterate, so he really educated the masses with very understandable images to let them know what was going in the world around them.”
The exhibit also features work by artists who were inspired by Posada, such as:
Lalo Alcaraz, known for his politically themed Latino comic strip “La Cucaracha,” took a great deal of inspiration from the political satire side of Posada to critique social and economic issues facing the Latino community today.
Amazing costume designer Gina Davidson displayed a dress that looked as if it was ripped out of Posada’s pages and splashed with vibrant colors and flowers.
Kalli Arte Collective had a touching piece on the struggles and sacrifices that immigrants face.
Self-help graphics are an art organization whose roots were founded in an East LA garage with the idea to work to promote art within the area. The show runs through March 28. The Fullerton Museum Center is located at 301 N Pomona Ave, Fullerton. For more information visit www.fullertonmuseum.com or call (714) 738-6545.