Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday reserved for praying and remembering those who have passed. It is often symbolized by skeletons, usually dressed as if they’re still alive. Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on Nov. 1 & 2, right after Halloween.
Last night was the opening reception for a Dia de los Muertos art exhibit at Avogadro’s Number. The exhibit will be hung in the Avogadro’s bar area until Nov. 2. The artist, Diana Ingalls Leyba, is from Silver City, New Mexico. She depicts many skeletons as life-like. Many were in full dress, wearing a wig or a hat.
I found the paintings very unique, because of their multi-medium aspect. Ingalls Leyba uses acrylic paints, along with thread to add some dimension. She shows off her threading style in this video, where she mentions that “important is the idea of layering as ritual and for the visual sensation that feeds the eye.” She’ll use the thread to make a grid pattern around the painting, or sometimes on top of the painting. It’s a very unique style and draws you in as a viewer.
On some of the paintings without thread, she used paint to make a plaid-like pattern lightly across the whole painting. Other times she would incorporate hundreds of small written words surrounding the body of a skeleton. In the photo on the left, you can see the interesting pattern she painted for the background of the painting with two skeletons. She overlaps paint to make a very unique style of her own.
The skeletons in Ingalls Lebya’s paintings are very well done. I suggest you visit the Avogadro’s gallery/bar before this exhibit is gone.