"Magic was a passion of mine as a teenager and I grew to appreciate the elaborate book covers or show posters that were created by artists to advertise the miracles happening on stage during the last century. This would certainly please many magic history needs." -Blaise
Striking color woodcut proof for the cover of a magic book, by the great engraver known as the "Printmaker to the Mexican People." Titled "Magia blanca y magia prieta" (White magic and dark magic), the image shows a magician, an angel, a fearsome devil and many more symbols of sorcery. The name of the printer, Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, who published many of Posada's works, appears at the lower right. Printed in black, red, and brown inks. Overall toning, light ink smudging on parts of the print, slightly irregularly trimmed, with light wear and one chip to the lower edge; otherwise in fine condition for a proof. 8.75 x 6.75 inches (22.1 x 17 cm), framed to an overall size of 14.25 x 15 inches (36.1 x 38.1 cm.).
The artist, engraver, folk illustrator, and political cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada came out of poverty to become one of Mexico's most important artists, a creative mouthpiece of the common man and an influence on later artists such as muralists Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco.
"In 1887, he joined the Antonio Vanegas Arroyo Publishing House, doing illustrations for a wide variety of printed publications, many of which had editions in the thousands... Posada knew his intended audience well; most were poor, illiterate and enjoyed the sensational aspect of any story. Using well-known symbols, and with an uncanny journalistic sense, Posada was able to identify a hierarchy of interests for the common man: family, work, neighborhood, government, disasters, religion and the supernatural. His illustrations, which were always linked to a story, were graphic reports that read from left to right. Posada was a master of composition and chiaroscuro (dark/light) and his prints always convey a feeling of action and movement...His political drawings reveal a deep social consciousness; Posada was a moralist whose criticism was aimed at everyone, not just the obvious government officials. His personal and artistic integrity were well-known, even though he worked for much of his life in complete obscurity. He died in 1913 and was buried in a common grave." (Stanford University Library, Guide to the Jose Guadalupe Posada Prints.)