Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dia De Los Muertos

This is the piece I created for the Autumn Society Dia De Los Muertos gallery show in Philadelphia. The idea of making a piece for this theme seemed really fun to me because it's probably not something that I would ever do on my own, but I still got to do pretty much whatever I wanted. That may seem obvious, but doing T-shirts all the time means I have to constantly be concerned about how clear my ideas are. Basically if I don't hit people over the head with a joke I get comlplaints, so it was nice to create something that had to adhear to a theme but still gave me free reign.

I had a number of ideas for what I wanted to do, and this was the one that won out. A close second was to take things aside from humans that can be "dead," like canceled TV shows or companies that have gone out of business (which we certainly have no shortage of right now.)

But ultimately I thought it would be funny to play on the religious/ritual side of the holiday. One of the many traditions of the Day of the Dead is to make and offer bread to the deceased. Although this bread is actually eaten by the living, some believe that the dead eat it first, leaving it devoid of nutrients. So I started to think about what would happen if the dead really did come back to eat the bread. It's what the person making the bread fully intends to happen, but if it really did I bet they'd be a little freaked out. Just like how the Christian belief is that Jesus will return some day, but if you go up to a Christian and tell them you've just seen Jesus they would just think you were nuts (or patronizing them, I suppose.)

At any rate, it's not meant to be disrespectful, I just think it can be good to look at things we take seriously with a sense of humor, or at least an open mind. I actually think this holiday has a much better way of handling death than the traditions I'm used to; they see it as a reason to celebrate what we had rather than mourn what we lost.

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