Thursday, April 9, 2015

Martin Ramirez - USPS Forever Stamps

      About two weeks ago, I ordered some stamps on USPS.com. This sheet of 20 forever stamps, Martin Ramirez, is one of those. I didn't know about artist Martin Ramirez before, but I became interested in these stamps when I first read its description. He was diagnosed as a catatonic schizophrenic in 1931, and he made the drawings while he was hospitalized for most of his adult life. I used to work in a psychiatric ward as a nurse for years in Japan and saw so many schizophrenic patients. Its breakthrough drugs were developed just decades ago, so most patients who developed schizophrenia before the drugs became available for clinical use were sadly hospitalized for rest of their life. Martin Ramirez developed Schizophrenia in 1931 and was confined to psychiatric hospitals for more than 30 years. Now, most schizophrenic patients are able to get back into society with the medicines. Anyway, I'm going to share these Martin Ramirez forever stamps with you.
Martin Ramirez - USPS Forever Stamps
      According to USPS.com, although confined to psychiatric hospitals for more than 30 years, artist Martin Ramirez (1895-1963) produced more than 450 dynamic drawings and collages imbued with hypnotic power. Through the use of repeating lines and idiosyncratic motifs, Ramirez transcended his own situation to create a remarkably visualized world free from the constraints of borders and, even, of time itself.  
       Born near Guadalajara, Ramirez left Mexico for the U.S. in 1925. Like other migrant workers during this period, he worked in mines and on the railroad but was hit hard by the Great Depression. Emotionally upset and in poor physical condition, he was detained by police in 1931 and, unable or unwilling to communicate, was soon committed to a psychiatric hospital. He remained institutionalized for the rest of his life.  
     After several attempts to escape from the psychiatric hospital, Ramirez began to draw obsessively. Over the next 32 years, he created a series of large-scale drawings-from two feet to more than 20 feet long-that blend the emotional and physical landscapes of his life in Mexico with the modern popular culture of the U.S. He worked primarily with found materials, like discarded paper, matchsticks, and tongue depressors, as well as homemade glue and paint. Some of his drawings were exhibited anonymously during his lifetime, but it wasn’t until a decade after his death that his work began to receive widespread attention. An acclaimed retrospective held at the American Folk Art Museum in New York City in 2007 established Ramirez as one of the great artists of the 20th century.



Issue Date:
March 26, 2015
Art Director/Designer:
Antonio Alcala

“Untitled (Horse and Rider with Trees)” from 1954


 “Untitled (Man Riding Donkey)” from circa 1960-1963

“Untitled (Trains on Inclined Tracks)” from circa 1960-1963

“Untitled (Deer)” from circa 1960-1963

“Untitled (Tunnel with Cars and Buses)” from 1954
      These stamps are so beautiful! :)

Martin Ramirez - USPS Forever Stamps


Martin Ramirez - USPS Forever Stamps


Book, Martin Ramirez


 Forever Stamps, Martin Ramirez
      My entries related to USPS stamps can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/USPS%20stamps

      You can check and buy stamps at Official USPS Store on Ebay.

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