We have Chris Parks with us today for this edition of 5Qs. Chris’ work has graced the surface of many types of commercial products and has enjoyed major success as stand-alone art pieces as well. His unique style is easily recognizable and frequently imitated by other artists for its appealing use of color and line. We are super excited that Chris was able to take a break from the hectic business of leading Pale Horse Design to speak with us.
Dead Deco: Thank you for taking the time to join us on 5Qs Chris. Let’s kick things of with the story of how you first discovered Day of the Dead art.
Chris Parks: My introduction to the concept was likely through tattoo art, where I first saw artists drawing sugar skull designs and other Mexican ritual related imagery.
DD: What is your favorite Day of the Dead tradition?
CP: I think it’s important to honor death and to be reminded of our own mortality. Here in the US, we seem to have an irrational fear of death and try to hide the fact that it will happen to us one day. I think that by confronting it head on, and celebrating those who have passed, the fear would most likely grow weaker. That’s what I like most about it.
DD: How does your community respond to Day of the Dead?
CP: Here in Tampa Bay, the Day of the Dead is gaining popularity and is often celebrated in bars, Mexican restaurants, art galleries and independent street parades. It’s much less of a sacred ritual and more of a party theme, but it’s cool to see it non-the-less.
DD: Do you have a particular Day of the Dead artist whose work you admire?
CP: I’ve always been fascinated by José Guadalupe Posada‘s engravings. I think his [La] Calavera [Catrina] imagery has really laid the groundwork and inspired countless others to create artwork based on the Day of the Dead.
DD: Is there anything else about Day of the Dead that you would like to share?
CP: The Day of the Dead holiday and Mexican culture in general have been an incredibly rich source of inspiration for my work. I’ve really enjoyed putting my own spin on the subject matter over the years and I’ll likely continue to be inspired by it throughout my career.
Everyone here at Dead Deco definitely agrees with that statement. We all continue to be inspired by the traditions and imagery of the Day of the Dead, and it is the individual spins and twists each artist brings to the subject that keep rejuvenating and expanding Muerte Art and Calavera Culture. We look forward to seeing more of Chris’ beautiful work. If you would like to learn more about Chris Parks, visit PaleHorseDesign.com. Thank you again to Chris for his insightful answers, and we wish him continued success with his art.