Alberto Beltrán - Poster/Broadsheet - Calaveras de San Cristóbal - 1952 AP1386
Rare and fragile and funny and macabre... Skeletons running the famous people's printing press. This print was created in the style reminiscent of a Jose Guadalupe Posada broadside. The image includes the text of a corrido, with rhyming lyrics, and calaveras, the skeleton figures of Mexico's popular art forms that may suggest Mesoamerican deities. A beautiful act of homage.
Purchased from a Mexico City collector who acquired a trove of Alberto Beltrán's drawings and prints from the artist's estate. These pieces give us a wonderful insight into the process (and breadth of interests) of this hitherto somewhat neglected artist, whose work is only just now coming into prominence.
Alberto Beltrán García (born March 22, 1923, Mexico City, d. April 19, 2002, Mexico City) was a Mexican graphic artist and painter known principally for his work with publications such as illustrations and political cartoons but he created a number of murals as well. He was born in the rough neighborhood of Tepito and began drawing for local publishers when he was a teenager. He attended the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas where one of his teachers introduced him to the Taller de Gráfica Popular where he began his career in earnest. From the late 1940s until his death, he work with various publications, mostly newspapers, but he also did book illustrations as well. In his later career, he worked on a number of murals, especially in the state of Veracruz, which he had an affinity for. Despite winning a number of important awards for his work, he is relatively unknown even in Mexico, with collections of his work scattered among a number of institutions.