0
A	
  look	
  into	
  Global	
  Art	
  and	
  the	
  
theme	
  of	
  death	
  in	
  Mexican	
  art	
  
By:	
  Hannah	
  Agu...
  	
  	
   	
  The	
  theme	
  of	
  death	
  fascinates	
  me,	
  as	
  it	
  is	
  one	
  
thing	
  that	
  links	
  all...
 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  I	
  wandered	
  through	
  the	
  city	
  of	
  Tzintzuntzan,	
  Mexico	
  to	
  learn	
  
more	
  a...
Origins	
  
	
   	
   	
  I	
  learned	
  about	
  the	
  brief	
  origins	
  of	
  Dia	
  de	
  
Muertos.	
  It	
  was	
 ...
 	
   	
  Aztec	
  tradiPons	
  and	
  
beliefs	
  are	
  the	
  basis	
  for	
  
Day	
  of	
  the	
  Dead.	
  This	
  
an...
 	
   	
  Art	
  plays	
  a	
  very	
  important	
  role	
  in	
  the	
  celebraPon	
  of	
  Day	
  
of	
  the	
  Dead.	
 ...
Although	
  Skull	
  Art	
  is	
  the	
  most	
  
popular	
  art	
  used	
  during	
  Day	
  of	
  
the	
  Dead	
  fesPviP...
What	
  Influences	
  Death	
  in	
  Mexican	
  
Art?	
  
	
  	
   	
  While	
  traveling	
  I’ve	
  discovered	
  how	
  d...
Diego	
  Rivera	
  
	
  	
   	
  	
   	
  Diego	
  Rivera	
  was	
  a	
  famous	
  
muralist	
  from	
  Mexico,	
  who	
  ...
Rivera’s	
  strong	
  poliPcal	
  
views	
  meshed	
  with	
  death	
  
in	
  his	
  Death	
  of	
  the	
  
Capitalist	
  ...
Frida	
  Kahlo	
  
“I	
  never	
  painted	
  dreams....	
  I	
  painted	
  my	
  own	
  reality.…I	
  paint	
  what	
  
ev...
  	
   	
  In	
  Thinking	
  About	
  Death,	
  
although	
  the	
  main	
  focus	
  is	
  Kahlo,	
  
she	
  excellently	
...
Jose	
  	
  
Guadalupe	
  Posada	
  
	
  	
   	
  Jose	
  Guadalupe	
  Posada	
  was	
  a	
  famous	
  engraver	
  and	
  ...
 	
   	
  Death	
  being	
  prominent	
  in	
  
Mexican	
  culture	
  is	
  interesPng	
  because	
  
death	
  means	
  re...
Works	
  Cited	
  
•  hip://www.fridakahlofans.com/c0450.html	
  
•  hip://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/diego...
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Death in Mexican Art

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Transcript of "Death in Mexican Art"

  1. 1. A  look  into  Global  Art  and  the   theme  of  death  in  Mexican  art   By:  Hannah  Aguilera   ART  160   Calavera  de  Madero  by  Jose  Guadalupe  Posada  
  2. 2.        The  theme  of  death  fascinates  me,  as  it  is  one   thing  that  links  all  people  of  all  cultures  together.  I   am  specifically  intrigued  in  how  the  concept  of   death  is  involved  in  certain  cultures  art,  such  as   Mexico.  It  is  late  October  and  I  am  traveling  to   Mexico  to  experience  the  Day  of  the  Dead,  or  Dia  de   Muertos.            This  is  a  day  in  Mexico  where  the  country’s   past  is  involved,  such  as  Aztec  beliefs,  and  a  day   where  death  is  celebrated.    This  is  the  ancient  Aztec  death  god  Mictlantecuhtli,  who   influenced  Mexico’s  current  view  on  death.  Skeletal  imagery   in  the  Aztec  world  was  a  symbol  of  health  and  ferPlity,  which   could  have  developed  Mexico’s  view  of  death  meaning   rebirth.  
  3. 3.            I  wandered  through  the  city  of  Tzintzuntzan,  Mexico  to  learn   more  about  the  history  of  Day  of  the  Dead.  It  is  a  joyous  yet   sacred  Pme  where  people  rejoice  the  souls  of  the  dead.  As  seen   in  this  picture,  Mexico’s  celebraPon  of  Day  of  the  Dead  is  much   more  public  than  any  other  naPons.  Dia  de  Muertos  reveals  how   open  and  unafraid  Mexican’s  are  of  death.   In  Tzintzuntzan,  Mexico   during  the  2009  Day  of   the  Dead  fesPval)    
  4. 4. Origins        I  learned  about  the  brief  origins  of  Dia  de   Muertos.  It  was  first  seen  publicly  more  than  500   years  ago  when  Spanish  Conquistadors  came  to   Mexico  and  saw  naPves  performing  a  ritual  mocking   death.  Since  the  Spanish  conquered  the  Aztecs,  Day   of  the  Dead  has  merged  with  Mexico's  major  religion,   Catholicism,  but  is  based  on,  and  sPll  maintains  the   basic  concepts  of  the  Aztecs.   Day  of  the  Dead  lasts  from  Oct  31-­‐  Nov  2nd.  October  31st  is  All   Hallows  Eve,  November  1st  is  ‘el  Dia  de  los  innocents  and  All   Saints  Day.  November  2nd  is  all  Souls  Day.  
  5. 5.      Aztec  tradiPons  and   beliefs  are  the  basis  for   Day  of  the  Dead.  This   ancient  Aztec  goddess   was  the  wife  of  the  death   god  Mictlantecuhtli.  Her   name  is  Mictecacihuatl  ,   the  Lady  of  the  Dead,   and  the  Aztecs  held  an   annual  celebraPon  of  her.   Aztec  statue  of  Mictecacihuatl,  from  the  16th  century    
  6. 6.      Art  plays  a  very  important  role  in  the  celebraPon  of  Day   of  the  Dead.  Skull  art’s  origin  lies  in  Aztec  culture.  The  most   famous  skull  arPst  of  Mexico  was  engraver  and  printmaker   Jose  Guadalupe.  His  humorous  image  of  skeletons  helped   shaped  Mexican’s  view  of  death.   La  Calavera   Catrina  by  Jose   Guadalupe   Posada    
  7. 7. Although  Skull  Art  is  the  most   popular  art  used  during  Day  of   the  Dead  fesPviPes,  there  are   also  temporary  art  pieces,  such   as  custom  altars  families  design   to  welcome  departed  spirits.   The  families  who  create  these  art   pieces  include  certain  tradiPonal   Mexican  altar  items,  such  as  candles   and  incense.  As  the  pictures  show,   altars  usually  contain  candles  and   incense  to  guide  spirits  back  to  their   altars.  Also  marigolds  are  included,   because  those  flowers  symbolize   death.  
  8. 8. What  Influences  Death  in  Mexican   Art?        While  traveling  I’ve  discovered  how  death  is   not  only  prominent  in  art  because  of  Mexico’s   origin  or  religion,  but  also  because  of  civil  unrest.   The  Mexican  RevoluPon  of  1910,  and  the  civil   unrest  that  followed  created    backdrops  for  many   arPsts.            A  few  of  Mexico's  most  famous  arPsts   incorporated  death  in  their  art  as  a  result  of  civil   unrest.  I  looked  further  into  these  arPsts,  such  as   Diego  Rivera,  Frida  Kahlo,  and  Jose  Gaudalupe   Posada.  
  9. 9. Diego  Rivera            Diego  Rivera  was  a  famous   muralist  from  Mexico,  who  would   portray  death  in  his  large   painPngs.  He  had  very  powerful   views,  which  were  brought  on  by   the  Mexican  RevoluPon.          Rivera  was  involved  in  a   government  sponsored  mural   program,  but  then  joined  the   Mexican  Communist  Party.  His   mural  The  Arsenal  depicted  his   feelings  towards  the  government.  
  10. 10. Rivera’s  strong  poliPcal   views  meshed  with  death   in  his  Death  of  the   Capitalist  painPng.   By  painPng  with  the   technique  fresco,  his   images  become  apart  of  a   wall.  This  image  of  the   death  of  his  poliPcal   opponents  is  now  an   integral  part  of  the  wall.   Rivera  paints  large  murals   to  make  a  statement.  
  11. 11. Frida  Kahlo   “I  never  painted  dreams....  I  painted  my  own  reality.…I  paint  what   ever  passes  through  my  head  without  any  other  consideraDon."      Frida  Kahlo  was  one  of  the  most  influenPal  and  famous  arPsts  of  Mexico.   She  oden  did  self-­‐portraits.  Just  as  Diego  Rivera,  her  painPngs  reflected  her   feeling  of  her  environment.  As  she  said  above,  she  only  painted  her  reality,   what  she  was  surrounded  by.  Whether  it  was  civil  unrest,  or  her  failing   health,  Kahlo  did  not  shy  away  from  painPng  about  death.     The   Wounded   Table,   shows  how   open,  or   aware   Kahlo  is  of   death  by   painPng   herself.  
  12. 12.      In  Thinking  About  Death,   although  the  main  focus  is  Kahlo,   she  excellently  uPlizes  her   background  space.  The  green   leaves  could  almost  certainly   represent  life.  Both  life  and   death  are  represented  in  this   painPng,  implying  that  Kahlo   clearly  isn’t  afraid  to  discuss  or   ponder  about  death.  This  image   portrays  Kahlo’s  understanding  of   life  and  death,  and  in  Mexican   culture,  death  is  associated  with   rebirth.  This  might  be  why  Kahlo   painted  growing  green  leaves  in   the  background;  although  death   occurs,  rebirth  and  new  life  will   follow.  
  13. 13. Jose     Guadalupe  Posada        Jose  Guadalupe  Posada  was  a  famous  engraver  and  printmaker  in  Mexico  in  the   late  1800’s  through  early  1900’s.  His  artwork  and  use  of  skulls,  played,  and  sPll  is,  a  vital   part  of  the  Day  of  the  Dead  fesPviPes.  His  poliPcal  saPre  radiated  in  his  prints  of   skeletons.            Posada  influenced  how  Mexicans  view  death,  and  his  imagery  of  skeletons  is  sPll   seen  every  year  on  Day  of  the  Dead.        His  environment,  the  civil  unrest  and  disdain  for  government,  influenced  his  art  to   mock  death.  His  poliPcal  saPre  was  something  that  Mexicans  could  relate  to.   El  Jarabe  de  Ultratumba  (The  Folk   Dance  Beyond  the  Grave)  
  14. 14.      Death  being  prominent  in   Mexican  culture  is  interesPng  because   death  means  rebirth.  Combined   religion  and  tradiPon  of  the  Aztecs  led   to  the  idea  of  rebirth.  Death  isn’t  a   sorrowful  thing  in  Mexican  culture   because  it  leads  to  path  of  a  different   life.  This  is  why  death  is  so  commonly   found  in  Mexican  art.  It  isn’t  something   brings  an  end,  but  brings  a  beginning.      Death  is  not  something  that  is  feared,  but  embraced.  ArPsts  such  as   Frida  Kahlo  and  Joes  Guadalupe  Posada  recognized  that,  and  created  art   about  death  freely.  Mexicans  embrace  death,  and  that’s  why  it  is  so   prominent  in  Mexican  culture,  and  involved  in  art  and  holidays  such  as   Day  of  the  Dead.   Calavera  Oaxaqueña  (Oaxacan  Skull)  by  Posada  
  15. 15. Works  Cited   •  hip://www.fridakahlofans.com/c0450.html   •  hip://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/diego-­‐rivera/about-­‐the-­‐arPst/64/   •  hip://www.learnnc.org/lp/ediPons/chngmexico/210   •  hip://www.learner.org/courses/globalart/theme/6/index.html   •  hip://www.unm.edu/~htafoya/dayodhedead.html   •  hip://udaykphotography.photoshelter.com/gallery/Night-­‐Of-­‐The-­‐Dead-­‐Noche-­‐de-­‐los-­‐Muertos/ G000082UIZhc1mY8/   •   hips://s3-­‐us-­‐west-­‐2.amazonaws.com/photozo/data/8543/032707_Antopologia_031_copy.jpg   •  hip://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/77/Mexico-­‐Day_of_the_Dead_altar.jpg   •  hip://www.celebrate-­‐day-­‐of-­‐the-­‐dead.com/image-­‐files/day-­‐of-­‐the-­‐dead-­‐customs.jpg   •  hip://clasarchive.berkeley.edu/Outreach/educaPon/summerinsPtute2010/images/DiegoRivera-­‐ ElArsena-­‐540pl.jpg   •  hip://2.bp.blogspot.com/-­‐zdfGtNhCeJ0/T9wYF8X3FFI/AAAAAAAAGg4/6luNKPHL9hw/s640/frida +kahlo+the+wounded+table+1940.jpg   •  hip://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/01/jose-­‐guadalupe-­‐posada-­‐day-­‐of-­‐the-­‐ dead_n_2057382.html#slide=1709528   •  hip://staPc.panoramio.com/photos/large/67249937.jpg   •  hips://saradobie.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/gd5119794a-­‐woman-­‐prays-­‐in-­‐fron-­‐7814.jpg   •  hip://uploads1.wikipainPngs.org/images/magdalena-­‐carmen-­‐frieda-­‐kahlo-­‐y-­‐calderón-­‐de-­‐rivera/ thinking-­‐about-­‐death-­‐1943.jpg  
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