24 | MAY | 2019
Guadalupe Posada, the man behind “La Catrina”
A drawing depicting the consequences of the revolution - Photo: Leopoldo Smith/EFE

Guadalupe Posada, the man behind “La Catrina”

20/01/2019
14:08
Newsroom/EL UNIVERSAL in English
Mexico City
Carlos Villasana, Ruth Gómez
-A +A
Posada is considered as an icon of Mexican culture as his work stood out during a time when no form of artistic expression could comment on political issues

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It's been 106 years since José Guadalupe Posada passed away. His creativity and imagination have represented Mexico worldwide
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Posada was born in 1852; he was passionate about drawing and making cartoons about all types of social events, from popular parties to political events.

His talent and abilities allowed him to become an editorial cartoonist at Antonio Vanegas Arroyo's workshop, where he allegedly drew thousands of illustrations.

He drew about all kinds of topics: crime stories, portraits, fairytales, gossip.

He also worked for publications against the Porfirio Díaz's regime. In his political cartoons, he used animals such as snakes, or skulls and angels, combined with ironic or sarcastic phrases that denounced problems that affected the country.

During the Mexican revolution, Posada drew cartoons for popular newspapers and pamphlets: he revealed thefts, battles, and all the issues war brought: poverty and death.

It's been said that he defined the Day of the Dead's imaginary, because even when he wasn't the first to illustrate the “calaveritas”, he was the most famous one. Nowadays, you can see hundreds of cartoons where skeletons are leading human lives: they go to the bakery, the commit crimes, they dance, they drink, or ironically, enjoying life.

One of the most famous phrases attributed to him was “death is democratic, because in the end, blond, brunette, poor or rich, everyone will end up becoming a skeleton.

Posada is considered as an icon of Mexican culture as his work stood out during a time when no form of artistic expression could comment on political issues. Mexico's most famous muralists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros considered him as a pioneer, as his work allowed them to paint the national reality.

Unfortunately, José Guadalupe Posada died in poverty. His work was forgotten for many years, but his most famous character, La Catrina, prevails as Mexico's depiction of death, and he has become an iconic artist and cartoonist.

Artículo

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