Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day of the Dead art

The last couple of trips out of state have introduced me to a new interest - Day of the Dead art.  At the Phoenix Public Market, we met an artist who worked with terracotta.  He told us that Day of the Dead items were very popular right now and he could hardly keep them stocked at his booth.

I wonder if some of the fascination is a complement to the interest in zombies and vampires in pop culture.  I am not sure how these trends might be related, and while I am aware of the zombie and vampire mania, it hasn't really appealed to me. So, where did this interest begin for me?

I developed a slight interest in the Day of the Dead when I was in high school and studied Spanish.  Sadly, my knowledge of the language is very low now, but my appreciation for the Hispanic culture is much higher.

I love the idea of celebrating the life of those who are gone.  My family has traditionally observed Memorial Day by decorating graves as a tribute to family and friends who have passed.  When I see the skulls or skeletons, I have a strange sense of peace and joy.  Secretly, I worry that people will see these items in my house and think that I have gone a bit morbid.  That is why I fell in love with the friendly Day of the Dead gardener.

The tile above was picked up in San Antonio and I adore the subject matter.  How can you be creeped out by a skeleton gardener?  The colors first attracted me and then I noticed that flowers and stars were incorporated and that the skeleton was celebrating life by gardening.  Loved it!

These two lovely terracotta pieces were acquired in Phoenix at the open air market.  They were destined to be holiday ornaments, but I took the red tinsel off the top and made them more holiday neutral.  Love the simplicity.  Love the traditional feel of the terracotta and twine/raffia ties.

If you are a guest in my house and wonder about all the skulls and skeletons...now you know.

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