Sugar Skull Art and The Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday, celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saint’s Day and All Hollow’s Eve. The festivities start at midnight on the 31st of October. Sugar skulls are often used to decorate the gravestones of the deceased as it’s believed that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them. Following are some excellent examples of Sugar Skull art.

“El Dia De Los Muertos Skeleton Lovers”  by Monika Suska

“Sugar Skull Art” by Brian Pulido

“Sugar Skull Owl” Canvas Print / Canvas Art by Niklas Bates

“Boy and Girl Sugar Skulls” by Lil Mrs. Frankenstein

“Music Lover” Tattoo Design

“Sugar Skull Art” by João Mendes

“Candied Skull” by Arise Chicken

“Burning Desire” by Daniel Esparza 

“Two of Hearts” by Melody Smith
“Bottoms Up” by Day of the Dead Artist David Lozeau

This last piece isn’t what most would typically think of as “Sugar Skull Art” but I think it’s one of the most beautiful examples of ANY skull art I’ve ever seen.

‘Strange Charm(Swans)’ by Tino Rodriguez


The Tarot Card Artistry Of Bonifacio Bembo

As some may believe, Tarot cards are not the result of new age mysticism and their usage can be traced back as far as the 1400’s.  Their vibrant images of the Royal, Minor and Major Arcana are what a lot of people may recognize if not interested in them for spiritual reasons.  While these images, which come in many different themes with a multitude of renderings, may be colorful and intriguing, there may be none as beautiful as the ones pictured here. While today’s cards feature the 4 suits of Wands, Cups, Pentacles, and Swords, they were first titled as Coins, Cups, Sticks, and Swords.

Bonifacio Bembo (1420-1480), was a painter and miniaturist who was born in Brescia and was so delighted by the Tarot’s esoteric symbolism that he created his own version for Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, between 1442 and 1444.

Today’s decks are made up of 78 cards. Bembo’s deck consisting of 48 cards measuring approximately 7 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches, are illustrated on gold and silver backgrounds. They are now part of the Pinacoteca di Brera collection.

Pictured below are some of the most beautiful and mysterious cards created by the early-Renaissance artist.

On the left, “Faith”; on the right, “Maid of Sticks”

On the left, “Horsewoman of Coins”; on the right, “Horsewoman of Sticks”

On the left, “Maid of Coins”; on the right, “Maid of Cups”

On the left, “The World”; on the right, “Horseman of Sticks”

On the left, “Knave of Swords”; on the right, “Knave of Coins”

On the left, “The Emperor”; on the right, “Time”

On the left, “King of Cups”; on the right, “Horseman of Swords”

On the left, “Death”; on the right, “The Magician”

On the left, “Doomsday”; on the right, “The Wheel of Fortune”

On the left, “Six of Coins”; on the right, “Two of Cups”

On the left, “Four of Cups”; on the right, “Six of Swords”

Whether or not you believe that someone can divine your future with a layout from a Tarot deck, I’m sure we can all agree that these cards are absolutely beautiful.

Photos via:
Atlante Dell Art

Nail Art Is All The Rage But Is It Art?

According to Job Hero the following is the description of a Nail Technician’s job:

Nail Technicians shape and style people’s nails, providing manicures, pedicures, and other nail treatments. Also called Manicurists/Pedicurists, Nail Technicians usually work in salons and spas, though some are self-employed and work from home or travel to their customers.

I couldn’t find anything that described being a nail artist and while most nail artists are nail technicians there surely must be a line drawn between the two because it truly takes artistry to turn out some of the nail sets I’ve seen.

I realize that a lot of the art is simply a decal, but having the patience and eye to group all of the elements involved together shows the soul of an artist at the very least.

Take a look at these following examples I’ve chosen from a wee bit on the dark side and let us know in comments what you think!

Gory Paintings That Chill- 15 Troubling Images

I’ve seen the following quote attributed to both Banksy and Cesar A. Cruz , “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”  The 15 gory paintings listed here may prove the latter part of that quote convincingly, no matter who actually said it first, as they are all a bit disturbing.  I guess though there are others they might comfort. Freaks. LOL 

Seriously though, these are not paintings of sunflowers or stars or anything else bright and airy.  Take a look and let us know what you think.  We’re interested in hearing your opinions.

The Flaying of Marsyas

flayingThe Flaying of Marsyas by Titian
A scene from Greek mythology depicting where Marsyas is being flayed for defying the god Apollo.


Gallowgate Lard

self-portraitGallowgate Lard by Ken Currie
Currie was a Scottish author who specialized in depicting the bleak urban life of the Scottish working class. This is supposed to be his self-portrait.


 Anatomical Pieces

disturbung-art-pieces-anatomical-piecesAnatomical Pieces by  Theodore Gericault
The artist used human remains as subjects for this gory and troubling work.


 Dante and Virgil in Hell


Dante and Virgil in Hell by W. A. Bouguerea
Dante and Virgil in Hell was inspired by a short scene from Dante’s Inferno where Dante, accompanied by Virgil, watches a fight between two damned souls.


Deterioration of Mind over Matter

disturbung-art-pieces-deterioration-of-mind-over-matterDeterioration of Mind over Matter by Otto Rapp
This image of a decomposing human skull on a devilish birdcage was painted in 1973.


Diodes Being Eaten by His Horses

disturbung-art-pieces-diomedes-being-eaten-by-his-horsesDiodes Being Eaten by His Horses by Gustave Moreau
The dramatic climax from the 8th labor of Hercules, who ordered the capture of King Diomedes’ four flesh-eating horses. Hercules killed Diomedes in battle and fed his body to the horses. (Watercolor)


 Figure with Meat

disturbung-art-pieces-figure-with-meatFigure with Meat by Francis Bacon
Based on Velazquez´s portrait of Pope Innocent X this makes the Pope look like a gruesome figure. He also added two bisected halves of a cow.


Heads Severed

disturbung-art-pieces-heads-severedHeads Severed by Theodore Gericault
Heads Severed is a popular example of his disturbing works. This was finished in 1818.



disturbung-art-pieces-hellHell by Hans Memling
It was one of the scariest art works during its time (1485) and was attempting to force people to live virtuous lives. The banner saying “In hell there is no redemption” amplifies this effect.


 Judith Beheading Holofernes

disturbung-art-pieces-judith-beheadin-holofernesJudith Beheading Holofernes by Caravaggio
In 1599, highlighting the moment of greatest dramatic impact – this picture portrays the moment of decapitation.


 Necronom IV

disturbung-art-pieces-necronom-ivNecronom IV by Hans Rudolf Giger
Giger suffered from night terrors and his paintings are to some extent inspired by his experiences with sleep disorder. This is the image used to portray the alien in the movies by that name.


 The Temptation of Saint Anthony

disturbung-art-pieces-temptation-of-saint-anthonyThe Temptation of Saint Anthony by Matthias Grunewald
The Temptation of Saint Anthony is one of the most impressive and most intense among the works of many famous painters. There is so much going on in this it’s hard to know where to begin looking.


 The Flaying of the Corrupt Judge Sisamnes

disturbung-art-pieces-the-flaying-of-the-corrupt-judge-sisamnesThe Flaying of the Corrupt Judge Sisamnes by Gerard David
This was based on the Herodotus story about a judge who accepted a bribe and delivered an unjust verdict. The king had him flayed alive as punishment.


The Water Ghost

disturbung-art-pieces-the-water-ghostThe Water Ghost by Alfred Kubin
Kubin is an important representative of symbolism and expressionism and this is meant to show the torment and impending doom at sea.


 A Negro Hung Alive

disturbung-art-pieces-a-negro-hung-aliveA Negro Hung Alive by William Blake
A slave suspended to a gallows by means of a hook through his ribs is truly gruesome This was based on the account of J.G. Stedman, a Dutch soldier who personally witnessed the event.

And there you have it.  Don’t forget to let us know what you think.