My first art show was back in June of this year. I set up my paintings and front and center was my Mariachi Muertos painting. A lady walked by and with disgust said, "Well that's interesting."
My next show the same painting caused a couple to start arguing. The man was from New Mexico and the woman was from the north. The man said he loved Day of the Dead stuff because of the meaning, and how it is a celebration. The woman became angry saying death shouldn't be celebrated.
I was born in Mexico, but moved to the states when I was one. My Dad was born and raised in Mexico, my Mom was born in Ohio. They met while my Mom was studying in Mexico and fell in love. The concept of Dia de los Muertos is not only part of my heritage but an idea we all must endure at some point.
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican celebration to honor the lives of those who have passed. It is typically celebrated on November 1 and November 2. These days are not only for celebration but also introspection.
The death of a loved one is never easy, actually it's undeniably one of the hardest things ever. But, to get through it I love the idea of celebrating the life rather than focusing on the death. Personally, this concept has become particularly more important for my own journey.
With life comes death. It's inevitable. We can live our lives scared of it or acknowledge it, internalize it, and use it to give our lives meaning. Death is only a reminder of how precious life is.
While I understand the image of a skull or skeleton might be too much for some people, I just wanted to share why I paint these images. It is not to be dark, it's actually the opposite.