TATE-MONO blog

Skull 髑髏

Posted in building, misc by tot on July 9, 2009

Although I am not interested in skulls as fashion (printed in clothes, carved in accessories),  still attracted how people face with it. I remember when I attended cremation of my grandfather. My relatives saw the skull and bones in detail while chatting about his body, his health condition, etc. Some people kept some bones home, and most were put in the grave. There was no fear for them maybe because they were my families’, but still it was quite natural for me.

I understand in western culture (and also now in Japan) people see skulls with fear and sometimes kept away as a symbol of death. In paintings skulls are drawn to mean mostly death or something uncanny (as surrealists used them as such). But in Mexico, it is a bit different. Rooted in Aztecs beliefs, Los Dias de Los Muertos (the day of the dead) is the most important festival there, and people cerebrate with many decoration of skulls. Skulls are with humor and everywhere in their life.

Hans Holbein – Ambassadors

I remember a painting of pink skeleton by Mexican artist Chucho Reyes. I appreciate his works, who integrated Mexican rooted art with European fine art style. So Luis Barragan, who also did it in architecture, naturally admired him.

About buildings with skulls, most examples are churches and cemeteries. By showing real skulls, Christians seem to tell ‘Memento Mori’ to us. For me, more as an architectural element, this carved white plaster-like (actually similar constituent) material are interesting with different kind of decoration, though can be just kinda decadence or just a fashion if you use them this age.

Cornice decorated with skulls, match the texture of plaster @ Church in Vrin, Switzerland

bonechurch

Too many skulls, Bone Church @ Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

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