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Art Show: Day of the Dead 2010

In Memoriam: Sugar Skull Shrine

by Carissa M Martos

Banner for Day of the Dead 2010 art show

Art: In Memoriam: Sugar Skull Shrine by Artist Carissa M Martos
Named after the Tennyson poem, specifically for these lines:

So runs my dream, but what am I?

An infant crying in the night

An infant crying for the light

And with no language but a cry.

While in the Day of the Dead Sugar Skull style, this doesn't so much mourn and celebrate the idea of a person who passed away, but of how close we came to having to travel that road with my son, Julian Antonio, when his skull matched the one used in the piece here. Since the, although he has no verbal language but a cry, he has developed a firm grasp on American Sign Language, and will now point to the various skull-themed art in our home and tell us proudly that those are heads just like his.

The piece is a mixed-and-found media art, including the skull which was a casting we purchased during my son's first neuorsurgery to let us learn where each bone of the head was supposed to be. I then filed down to skull in parts to make it look more realistic, attached the mini tapers and rose candales and the paper and sil flowers, as well as a miniature prayer card made from one of my other pieces, Virgin. The two silver crosses are found objects, while the golden one is laser-cut handpainted wood.

I wanted to make it look as authentic as possible, like the kind of shrine one would fine at a Dia de Los Muertos celebration in Mexico or Central America.

Detail Images

Detail Image for art In Memoriam: Sugar Skull Shrine

Face Detail

Detail Image for art In Memoriam: Sugar Skull Shrine

Side of Skull Detail

Detail Image for art In Memoriam: Sugar Skull Shrine

Rose and Cross Detail


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