Day of the Dead Series

The Day of the Dead series consists of works on paper and canvas that attempt to express the Mexican festival that celebrates the dead. In this event families go to the gravesite bringing food and drink for beloved ones and dead friends. Flowers, especially marigolds, are placed around the tombstone and music often accompanies the visitors to the site. The Day of the Dead festival is held each year on Nov 1-2, and is especially interesting in Patzcuaro, Mexico.

About 20 works are in this series, and some have been exhibited. At the Diego Rivera Museum in 1999 I showed some 12 works in a room designed for this theme. One, in this series, showed at the Dia de los Muertosnational 1999 at the Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene, Oregon.

Artes de México Issue No. 67 Dia de Muertos II reported that “When we at Artes de México began to research the topic of the Day of the Dead, we were struck by a fact that contradicts all the preconceived notions most people have of this celebration: the rural and the urban experience of the Day of the Dead are two very different things. In rural areas, the Day of the Dead is still closely linked to ancestral belief. Its ritual form of expressing creativity is impregnated with an inflexible solemnity and a strict code of behavior, accompanied by the extravagant use of color, composition and texture. In the city, the Day of the Dead is also noted for its explosion of colors and forms, but they lack any religious significance and possess a more uninhibited, playful, festive air.”