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LA CATRINA FINDS YOU August 15 2018, 0 Comments

La Catrina is an icon of the Day of the Dead in Mexico. Even though she is a skeleton, La Catrina is a tradition full of life wearing her elaborate somberero and elegant dress.

     

Death is not feared in Mexico: offerings, songs, respect and humor are common Mexican expressions towards death, and Catrina, the Grande Dame of Death, is admired and respected. Her beginnings as Mictēcacihuātl go back to the Aztec era. During the twentieth century, in the creative hands of artist Jose Guadalupe Posada, Catrina's image was transformed. She gained political importance and became a cultural icon.

 

In Diego Rivera's satirical political mural Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central, Catrina dominates the centre.

 

                                                    

Catrina's image is seen all over Mexico:  on the streets, in the parks, and in the tiendas/shops.  El Museo de Arte Popular has a fantastical collection of Catrinas. A search on the web shows the many forms Catrina takes: tatoos, makeup, chocolates, candy. Clothing such as dresses, hats, headbands, shoes, baby and children's clothes, dog clothes, display her image. She appears on the top of cakes, as a bride, and as a pregnant woman.

In Mexico you don't have to look for Catrina. She finds you. She is an extraordinary example of how the Mexican people embrace the reality of death and bring it into their every day life. La Catrina is educating me.

For now, and only now,

Hasta leugo amigos

Val

 

 


Amo México - Death Inspires Art July 05 2018, 0 Comments

Calaveras - Skulls in Art in Mexico

                     

Mexican art and religion celebrates death and uses images of skulls and skeletons as their motifs. That's because death in Mexico is treated differently than in other parts of the world. Death is a daily part of life. It is not mourned or shunned. In November, on the Day of the Dead - Día de Muertos, deceased loved ones are celebrated. Altars (ofrendas) are built and favourite foods and confectionaries in the shapes of skulls populate those altars.

Mexicanidad

Artistic representation of the skull began in ancient times, but was suppressed during the Spanish-Aztec War (1519-21), then emerged as a symbol of Mexicanidad after Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821. 

Famous Mexican illustrator José Guadalupe Posada (1851–1913) was known for his satirical and politically acute Calaveras. His skeleton images became iconic when they took on a whole different meaning socially and politically, and came to represent the feelings of the Mexican people leading up to the Mexican Revolution.

Famous internationally known artists Frida Kalho, Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo added their creativity in support of Mexicanidad.

                     

From sculptures and monuments in ancient times in Mexico to present day artists like  Damien Hirst,  people have been inspired to look death in the face, and create.

                                   

                    Aztec Calendar Stone                     Damien Hirst

 

In my next post I'll reveal new skull motif designs which are inspired by the skulls in Mexican folk art.

Hasta luego amigos, Val