My Day of the Dead Series was a matching of circumstances. Past short visits to Mexico City, Ixtapa, Oaxaca, and Cabos San Lucas had made me aware of many Mexican traditions, colorful crafts, and skilled artworks. However, it wasn’t until I spent a more extended stay in San Miguel de Allende that I developed a deeper understanding of the Mexican’s world view, and particularly of their philosophy of life and death.
The Day of the Dead is celebrated from October 31 through November 2. During this holiday, spirits of deceased family members return in the identity of their past lives to reunite with family and friends. Skulls, skeletons of loved ones in costumes (that represent the professions or interests of their deceased ) adorn home altars and grave sites to confer love, respect, and remembrance.
The skulls and skeletons of pre-Hispanic folk art reflect the dualistic Mexican world view. They believe that without the oppositional forces of life and death, the universe loses its equilibrium. Life and death are part of the same circular process.
CT scans of human skulls given to me by a neurologist became the perfect vehicle for my artistic reflection and responses to the Day of the Dead holiday. The animal and human spirit masks, skeleton, and skull images in my giclee prints were created from these CT scan X-rays. My Day of the Dead Series of prints pays homage to the Mexicans, whose religious icons, ceremonial masks, and colorful artifacts have provided me with such a rich understanding of the Mexican people and their culture.