2015 49¢ Train on Inclined Tracks
This stamp is from an untitled piece identified as Train on Inclined Tracks. The artist Martín Ramírez was virtually unknown during his lifetime. Today, he is considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.
Trains were the subject of many of Martín Ramírez’ paintings and drawings. The artist spoke very little during his years of creating his masterpieces, so the world can only guess why he kept returning to those images.
They were likely a reminder of the artist’s trip to the U.S. from his home in Mexico, and the hope for a better life when he arrived. As a new immigrant he worked for the railroads, and became familiar with trains.
During the early part of the 20th century, trains were the fastest form of public transportation and a symbol of modernization. Ramírez may have enjoyed the idea of the speed and power that defined this industry during his early life.
The landscape surrounding Ramírez’ trains often includes tunnels and parallel lines. His works also have a sense of movement, as the tracks draw the observer’s eyes to different parts of the drawing.
Other pieces show trains on a stage, often surrounded by curtains. Art experts have interpreted this to mean Ramírez thought the world was a stage, like Shakespeare had written centuries before. It may have been a simple memory of the entertainment available at the theater. The world will never know the reason for the artist’s choices, but that doesn’t detract from the precision displayed in his art.
The stamp image is a detail from one of Ramírez’s more than 450 drawings and collages.
49¢ Ramirez, issued to satisfy the First Class Mail rate
Issue Date: March 26, 2015, opening of the Martín Ramírez Forever art exhibit
City: New York, NY, Ricco/Maresca Gallery
Quantity: 4,000,000 stamps
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Product
Printing Method: Lithographed in sheets of 240, with twelve panes of 20 per sheet
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾