Friday, October 19, 2007
Day of the Dead Bride and Groom
Here are the latest Day of the Dead creations - Catrin and Catrina newlyweds. These two calaveras will be featured in a new book called Day of the Dead Crafts, that will soon be released by Cantata Books and Wiley Press.
Artwork Name: Catrin and Catrina Bride and Groom Calaveras
Description: This Day of the Dead Voodoo doll couple is made in honor of Catrin and Catrina, made popular by renowned author, journalist and political cartoonist Guadalupe Posada, (1852-1913). The names Catrin and Catrina mean "dapper," and they reflect the fashions of the times.
Materials used: Sticks, Spanish moss, acrylic paint, beads, fabric, lace, and polymer clay.
How it was crafted: This smart-looking couple were made combining the traditional styles of New Orleans Voodoo folk art and contemporary Mesoamerican decorative design.
Inspiration: I am inspired by the humor and whimsy associated with death that this art form portrays. I am inspired by the myth and archetype of Spanish and Indigenous cultures. Day of the Dead art takes death out of its shadow and into the beauty of spirit; it is a means of honoring our ancestors in a manner that is celebratory and lighthearted.
Your experience: As a New Orleans native and the daughter of two of the best artists in the world, I was exposed to a wide variety of art forms from the time I was old enough to be aware. My father was a formally trained medical illustrator (Donald Alvarado, he illustrated the Gray's Anatomy among other things) and my mother was largely a self taught painter of folk art, nature, and mystical imagery. I have held a paintbrush since I was old enough to walk, and have worked in a variety of mediums throughout my lifetime, including pen and ink, painting, mosaic, beaded jewelry, Voodoo art, and crafting art dolls.
What draws you to Day of the Dead art? Día de los Muertos is a holiday rooted in the ancient past of Mesoamerica, which has rich historical imagery. My ancestors were in awe of the eternal cycle of life and death and honored those who passed on with great feasts, sacrifice, ritual, dance, and sacred art that depicted their beliefs and customs. I come by this traditional art form honestly through my earliest traceable ancestors, Aztec King Xicotencotl of Tlaxcala and Pedro de Alvarado, the Spanish conquistador. When I create Day of the Dead art, I pay homage to my ancestors and to the many indigenous people who were killed by war and lost in the process of colonization. May the flame of life smile upon the darkness of death!