Hurray for Tat Tues. This is the segment each week in which we examine a Day of the Dead inspired tattoo as a tribute to the rise of this art-form’s dominance; as tattoos quickly becomes the only kind of art that average people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to own. This week’s art piece comes from our friends at the Day of the Dead Art online gallery at Deviant Art. The gallery divides submissions into a few categories, and the curator is fair and lenient in his acceptance of artist’s submissions. The majority of the work shown is one-off dabbles into Calavera Culture, but that is to be expected because Day of the Dead art is fun to make. However, we recently were puzzled by an entry from Marla Weiss, an artist called “oldSkullLovebyMW,” because we do not see the Day of the Dead relation.
This is not to say that Marla Weiss is not a talented artist, or that we don’t like her work. Let us be clear here: This art is not a Day of the Dead art piece, therefore, it should not appear in a Day of the Dead art gallery. This is a mixing of genres that loses the focus of Day of the Dead art. It neither shows celebration or reverence for the deceased nor does it satirize the living. This is Muerte Art, which is a much broader category that includes the expansive world of death-related art.
Is there any danger in accepting pieces like this as Day of the Dead art or should we be more stringent in upholding standards within this genre?