After a great response to our first 5Q interview, Dead Deco is proud to present 5Qs with the queen of pencil drawing: Laurie Lipton. You can learn more about this amazing artist and her beautiful work at Laurie Lipton’s website.
Dead Deco: Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about the Day of the Dead. How did you first learn about the Day of the Dead?
Laurie Lipton: My Spanish friend took me to Mexico to experience the festival after my mother died. She thought I would enjoy it. I said, “Enjoy a Festival about DEATH??” I was skeptical, but she was right.
DD: What is your favorite Day of the Dead tradition?
LL: Picnicking on the graves & eating candied skulls and dressing up are all tied in first place.
DD: How does your community respond to Day of the Dead?
LL: My “community” consists of Middle Class New Yorkers and we don’t respond to Day of the Dead, death, aging, or growing old. We think it is only going to happen to other people. We try to ignore mortality. We take pills & potions & exercise to keep death away. The response to my mother’s death was a great revelation to me. I saw that it made everyone uncomfortable. They treated the event like it was unnatural and slightly obscene. They couldn’t even say the word, “death”. People used words like “passing” and “gone”. New Yorkers would call the festival, “The Day of the Going, Going, Gone”.
DD: Do you have a particular Day of the Dead artist whose work you admire?
LL: Of course Posada… but the local Mexican artists and native paintings were very expressive & powerful too. I enjoyed the painted skulls and candy as well. Everyone seems to get into the swing and there is always tons of art to see.
DD: Is there anything else about Day of the Dead that you would like to share?
LL: I think that Mexico has a healthy relationship to death and the USA can learn a lot from the Dia de Los Muertos festival.
DD: Thank you Laurie for your thoughts and for visiting us here at Dead Deco.
You can view more of Laurie Lipton’s amazing work at http://www.laurielipton.com/