The word is getting out about Dead Deco, and artists have contacted us to request that we share their work. Renee Tay is one such artist, and we knew we wanted to interview her after seeing her wonderful art. You can view Renee Tay’s portfolio here.
Dead Deco: Thank you for contacting us Renee. How did you first learn about the Day of the Dead?
Renee Tay: All my life since I grew up in San Diego, California and went to Mexico several times a year. As a child I remember seeing skeleton figures for sale in the colorful shops of Tijuana. In my early 20’s I worked at Artes De Mexico in Bazaar Del Mundo selling high end Mexican folk art. We sold paper mache skeletons by the famous Linares Family of Mexico City. The first Dia De Los Muertos altars I remember seeing were made by the Mexican employees of Bazaar Del Mundo.
DD: What is your favorite Day of the Dead tradition?
RT: Oh the amazing ALTARS so lovingly created. I have seen 100’s of Dia De Los Muertos altars, some even in historical graveyards. My favorite are the authentic altars using dried fruits and organic in style. As Resident Artist, I am honored to been asked to created many life size Catrina dolls, giant skulls and banners for the altars at Fiesta De Reyes in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
DD: How does your community respond to Day of the Dead?
RT: It is a pretty big event here in San Diego. I live in Barrio Logan, one of San Diego’s oldest communities. In 1910 refugees of the Mexican Revolution moved in our little part of San Diego next to the harbor. At Chicano Park in Barrio Logan, people set up altars under the Coronado Bridge and camp there all night. Also there are altars nearby in Sherman Heights. In Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and along San Diego Avenue there are altars set up every where.
DD: Do you have a particular Day of the Dead artist whose work you admire?
RT: I have to choose ONE???? Okay……….The Linares Family of Mexico City.
DD: Is there anything else about Day of the Dead that you would like to share?
RT: This year my boyfriend, Mama and I will be attending Dia De Los Muertos November 1st at in Old Town San Diego. We will be wearing our Wild West Steampunk costumes and skeleton faces painted. Mama will be in her Frida Kahlo Frock coat and have her face painted as Skeleton Frida. There will be so many people in costume and quite a few face painters ready to paint people for Dia De Los Muertos. So many incredible altars, Dia De Los Muertos creations, music and beauty. If you live near San Diego, California…..you have to come.
DD: Thank you for the invite Renee. It sounds like quite the gathering, and we are sure many of our fans in that area will be there. Be sure to take lots of pictures to share with us afterwards. And thank you, readers, for reading another interesting interview. Keep the comments and letters coming.