The Carnegie Arts Center presents a screening of the documentary “Searching for Posada: Art and Revolutions” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, as part of events related to the José Guadalupe Posada and the Mexican Penny Press exhibition currently on view.
“Searching for Posada: Art and Revolutions” is a documentary revealing for the first time on film the untold story of Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada. Frida Kahlo surrounded her apartment with his art to help keep her sanity while living in New York. Her husband, famed muralist Diego Rivera described his art as: “so great that perhaps one day his name will be forgotten!”
Posada’s art lampooned politicians, recorded vivid images of the Mexican Revolution, inspired Mexico's famed Taller Grafica Popular to use art for social causes, incredibly helped the Cuban Revolution succeed, adorned concert tickets for the Grateful Dead and today leaps to life annually as the skeletal images seen during Day of the Dead, so popular now that even Disney and Pixar have created a popular Day of the Dead animation film. Yet Posada’s influence is rarely associated with his name, his true story virtually unknown.
Dying in 1913, Posada’s narrative is shrouded in myth. Called a revolutionary, artist of the people, prophet, the Goya of Mexico and crusader against dictator Porfirio Diaz, he is reputed to have created an astonishing 20,000 images. But who was this man so inspirational to generations of artists that his energy still drives the imagery of many social movements today from Chicano Art to Occupy, human rights and immigration reform?
Fascinated by Posada’s story, an obsessed American collector of Posada’s works (the largest in the United States), embarks on a passionate search for the truth about the artist, traveling to the Posada’s hometown of Aguascalientes, next to Leon and then Mexico City; encountering everything from art historians, Fidel Castro’s pajamas, Che Guevera’s backpack and a stop at the famed Arena Lucha Libre along the way. What he finds would have amazed even the artist Posada himself.
Three-and-a-half years in the making, fueled by a passionate desire to tell Posada’s story despite only a shoestring budget, “Searching for Posada” was shot on location in Mexico from director Victor Mancilla.
The documentary screening is free.
The Carnegie Arts Center is located at 250 N. Broadway in Turlock.