Day of the Dead

My “DAY OF THE DEAD” series was inspired by a documentary I watched titled “flight of the butterflies”. In this insightful documentary it shows the incredible migration of the Monarch Butterfly. Scientists are baffled how this tiny insect can travel these enormous distances.  They start in the South American Mexico area and travel up into North American and Canada and back. What inspired my first day of the dead skull painting was that the Mexican people of these small villages believe that their ancestor’s souls are carried in on the wings of these Butterflies and they celebrate this as the “Dia De Los Muertos” or “day of the dead”. The catch 22 in this is that big lumber companies have come into these areas and began to cut down all of the rain forests where these Monarch butterflies live and it is killing millions of them.  These small towns are lured in by big money and the deforestation is devastating.  It’ not only killing these big beautiful trees but also killing off a part of their culture and in a way their legacy. This was very powerful and moving which inspired me to paint the “DAY OF THE DEAD MONARCH BUTTERFLY”.  I built the skulls face using symbols of the situation. The Butterflies are the eyes which stand for the souls, the chainsaws are the eye brows which represent the cutting down of the trees and their homes. The diamond represents strength and power that the butterflies use to make their migration every year and the flowers are the symbols of birth and the growing of each generation.

As this series continues to grow I really love choosing different theme skulls and doing research about that topic so I can include some powerful elements and fun little Easter eggs within each piece.  I feel like it builds extra levels and depth to the painting which can also add a beautiful story.

day of th edead monarch butterfly

Day of the Dead Butterfly

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A Little About Jared Aubel

Jared Aubel (b. 1980) is a contemporary painter who mixes classic painting techniques with elements of Pop Surrealism, Lowbrow, and street-art. Educated at Arizona State University, Aubel graduated with a bachelor degree in fine arts, specializing in sculpture.  The unique diversified course study at ASU allowed Aubel to experiment with multiple artistic mediums and techniques, leading to his skillful mash-up style of old and new, high and lowbrow. His content is usually inspired by lived experiences, night life, and eccentricities of modern society. Clever jokes and visual puns are created by layering elements of nostalgic pop culture, symbolic icons of religion and war and modern fears of the American lifestyle. Aubel has exhibited work in the gallery setting, sticker art on the street, and gained an international following for his prints through his website.