On Thursday, Oct 17, the Houston Museum of Printing History marked the 100th year since the death of legendary Mexican engraver Jose Guadeloupe Posada. Though his name is rarely recognized, Posada's work has enjoyed international influence on the genre of engraving as a medium of social commentary, and particularly with the macabre themes of skulls and skeletons. Posada's works have been on display since Sept 1, and continuing to 15 Dec 2013 at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
The evening began with a fascinating lecture by contemporary engraver Tom Huck of Tom Huck's Evil Prints in St. Louis, MO. Huck may be Posada's most devoted artistic disciple. The son of two chiropractors in a small Missouri town, Huck's home life included several full size skeletons, so he grew up familiar and comfortable with human remains as his artistic talents developed. He discovered Posada's work while in college, shortly after deciding to dedicate his career to the art of engraving, and found the Mexican master a lifelong source of inspiration, adopting Posada's perspective of death as a universal equalizer that mocked and limited human efforts, achievements, and social status.
With satirical humor, historical references, and illustrations from Posada and his own works, Huck weaved a fascinating story of his own life growing up in a small Midwestern town in Missouri to his to become a popular and successful artist and social critic. Both of Huck's forearms are tattooed with images from Posada's works.