Ricardo Leon Artist of Mexico
Ricardo Leon is an artist. He grew up in Mexico city and attended art school at UAM (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana).
While visiting Mexico City, we had the privileged of meeting Mr. Leon. He told us that he began working with his father, also an artist, at the age of 18.
His Lithographs are hand pulled, meaning that it involves a certain amount of physical labor not found in digital prints. Usually, this means a plate or stone (in this case copper plate) with the original image was inked by a person and then run through a press, a person pulled a squeegee full of ink over an original screened image, or a block of wood was hand-printed when a person used a barren or similar device to rub the ink onto the paper. He is not a political print maker, Mr Leon is following in a long, illustrious line of artists exploring the lithograph
Mexico has the oldest printmaking tradition in Latin America. The first presses were established there in the sixteenth century mainly to print devotional images for religious institutions. With the introduction of lithography to Mexico in the nineteenth century, printmaking and publishing greatly expanded, and artists became recognized for the character of their work. José Guadalupe Posada (1851–1913) is often regarded as the father of Mexican printmaking. His best-known prints are of skeletons (calaveras) published on brightly colored paper as broadsides that address topical issues and current events, love and romance, stories, popular songs, and other themes. A number of Posada’s prints relate to the Day of the Dead festivities.
Artists also made many prints relating to Mexican heritage, customs, and daily life. This aspect of printmaking in Mexico has not received much attention from scholars because of the dominant narrative around prints and the Mexican Revolution. The simple early woodcuts by one of Mexico’s best-known artists, Rufino Tamayo (1899–1991), show Indians in different settings. Tamayo went on to produce hundreds of prints, mostly after 1950.