AD’s Aesthete stocks up on new stamps celebrating outsider artist Martín Ramírez
by Mitchell Owens
February 18, 2015 – In this age of texts and e-mails, why not depart from the norm and send a handwritten missive franked with a fantastic work of art?
On March 26, the U.S. Postal Service releases five stamps celebrating the acclaimed Mexican-American outsider artist Martín Ramírez (1895–1963).
Confined to mental institutions for decades, Ramírez, a former railroad worker diagnosed with schizophrenia, created finely crafted drawings, collages, and multimedia paintings distinguished by biographical symbols—train tracks and the like—as well as religious iconography, architectural structures, and a delicate sense of color. Ramírez also employed radiating lines and repetitive motifs, expressive patterning that give his oeuvre a hypnotic sense of rhythm that is mesmerizing enough for institutions such as the American Folk Art Museum and the Milwaukee Art Museum to hail him as a 20th-century master.