Martín Ramírez, the greatest self-taught draftsman of the twentieth century, left his native Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico, in 1925 to find work in the United States and support his wife and children back home. Political struggles in Mexico and the economic consequences of the Great Depression left him stranded—jobless, homeless, and unable to speak English—on the streets of California in 1931. He was soon detained by the police and committed to a psychiatric hospital, where he was diagnosed as a catatonic schizophrenic. Ramírez spent the second half of his life in mental institutions, assembling bits of paper—such as candy wrappers, greeting cards, and paper cups—and using self-made glue to create drawing surfaces for his graphite, colored pencil, and crayon sketches. Martín Ramírez is the first book to give equal consideration to the biographical, historical, and cultural influences in Ramírez’s work.
Brooke Davis Anderson
9 x 12 inches, portrait
Hardcover with jacket
192 pages 143 illustrations
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