What started as a desire to create images in the iconic sugar skull style has developed into a deeper journey for artist D. Maldonado. Her original Dia de los Muertos art series has grown not only in size, but also in meaning, giving the artist an opportunity to share, honor and celebrate a beautiful and often misunderstood tradition of Mexican culture. Over the past decade, Maldonado has created portraits in this style, which have been featured at her annual Dia de los Muertos art event since 2011.
D. Maldonado’s Day of the Dead art series has been featured in private and public galleries, including a solo show at the XIT Museum in Dalhart and also in art workshops and presentations at schools, museums and libraries.
Although Halloween and Day of the Dead are often lumped together, the celebrations couldn’t be more different. Both are offshoots of All Saints Day and All Souls Day, but Halloween emphasizes the spooky, gruesome and macabre. People shudder (if delightfully) at the thought of scary spirits in the living world. However, “Day of the Dead” or “Dia de los Muertos” is observed on Nov. 1 and 2 and focuses on celebrating with one’s family and remembering those who are no longer with us on earth. Food, music, photos and mementos are used to honor and remember loved ones who have passed on.
Sugar skulls are common in the celebration—sugar represents the sweetness of life and the skull represents death.
To connect or learn more, find the artist on Facebook @D.Maldonado or Instagram @Dcoolestphotos.