When Carlos Fresquez teaches young children aboutDía de los Muertos
, the day of the dead, he has a strategy for making the skeletal imagery not so scary: "I would just say, hey, knock on your head. There's a bone in there. You yourself are a skeleton. And when you pass on, your skin decays and that's bone, and eventually that, too, will decay."
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Well when you put it that way, it's, uh... actually kind of scarier. But whatever, because Día de los Muertos has never been about softening things; it's about looking death in the face, acknowledging its inevitability and -- maybe -- even laughing at it. And the art of Day of the Dead is equally fearless.
The actual Día de los Muertos already took place, but you can soak in some excellent Día artwork this First Friday at Studio 12 Gallery's Day of the Dead Art Show, juried by Fresquez himself. He'll be there, along with all the other artists with work in the show. And it'll certainly be a good time, but just to prove it, here's a little taste of the work on display: