When I think of laughing in the face of death, Mexicans always come to mind. My passion for the skull, and the rose, was born a few years ago, when I was living abroad.
Eduardo, a great friend of mine from Mexico City, gave me a beautiful statuette of a colorful skull with a red flower drawn on the forehead. Cheerful and lively, this Mexican skull with a rose inspired me and made me think about this symbol.
What is the significance of the Mexican rose skull?
First of all, let me make two premises:
Il existe des variations infinies. Selon la façon dont vous le représentez, le crâne à la rose peut souligner la vie et sa délicatesse, ou la mort avec son triomphe. Le style du design peut donner une atmosphère gothique ou une signification joyeuse. Aujourd'hui, je vais vous parler des formes colorées du mexicain Dia de Muertos. Les interprétations sont infinies. Les symboles, bien sûr, sont liés au temps et à la culture. C'est un symbole qui vient du Mexique, mais mon interprétation sera forcément occidentalisée. Désolé.
Life and death: the skull with the rose, a powerful contrast
A cold skull is a powerful symbol of death. Placez a skull next to a flower in the Mexican way, and the meaning changes completely: the beauty, balance and joy of the petals will transform the eerie head into a new cheerful symbol.
The red rose, beautiful and sensual, tells of the intense wonder of life. Its petals move with the wind, they do not last long, the stem that supports it is fragile, its colors change quickly. The contrast with the motionless, white and barren skull is very powerful and incredibly highlights the rose and its meaning of life.
If you think about it, indeed, the value of a good is also linked to its rarity: gold and silver, for example, are precious metals not only because they are beautiful, but also because they are they are rare. Here, our life takes on an incredible value when it is place next to death: vital time becomes a rare and precious commodity. Wow!
Laugh in the face of death: the Dia de Muertos
You can do like the Spartans, who stare death in the eye. Alternatively, you can do as the Mexicans do for the Dia de Muertos and laugh at it.
Mexican culture imagines the reign of Death as a joyful and colorful world, full of vitality and joy. In fact, turning death into a happy time is a great idea. It is not the Hades of the classics, sad and gray, but the Paradise of the monotheists either, serious and solemn: it is a spiritual and playful life after death.
A beautiful clip of this afterlife can be found in the Disney masterpiece "Coco" movie and in Tim Burton's Disney animation "The Corpse Bride".
There is also the Dia de Muertos, in Mexico. Colorful faces, painted skulls, smiling skeletons. Among these is Catrina, a smiling, fully dressed skull invented by an illustrator in the late XNUMXth century. Always lively and elegant, Catrina has a hat full of roses.
Enjoy the balance: the symmetry of the skull and the rose
I've read that people are drawn to symmetry: the more symmetrical a face, the more attractive it is. The skull, like the rose, has an extremely balanced shape. The union of these two harmonic forms creates a balanced, classic, elegant, timeless whole.
When there is symmetry, it is nice to break the rule, while maintaining the general harmony: the flower in only one eye of the skull, the irregularity of the petals, the alternation of colors can add interest and from mystery to tattoo, painting or any representation.
It improves life: a message of eternity
Many years ago, I was passionate about a video game: Grim Fandango, in a strange country of death, Mexican. The protagonist is Manny Calavera, a skeleton working as a travel agent in the afterlife. Here, the flowers represent the death of the dead: if they are hit by a bullet from their special weapons, the characters “bloom”, dying forever wrapped in colorful flowers.
In many cultures, however, the flower is a symbol of rebirth. Edvard Munch said:
"From my ruined body, the flowers will grow, I will be in them and it is eternity."
Putting a rose on a white skull is therefore a message of eternity: in a way, we will continue to be there, in new forms.
The inspiration for the "Los Muertos Skull" ring
We've done countless studies to determine what the style of the Los Muertos Skull Ring should be. We wanted to show both the cheerfulness of the Mexican skulls and the triumph of the red rose.
The end result was crafted by our model artist Andrea, created especially for Maso, a famous tattoo artist from Brescia, Italy.
The Mexican skull with rose had to be symmetrical, so we put a skull with its teeth clearly in evidence; In the empty space we put a large central rose, with decorative petals, like a crown. The eye cavities of the skull, slightly smaller than the rose, are perfectly round and adorned with a crown of small spheres.
Finally, we put in doodles and curls, typical of Mexican calaveras.
The meaning: as death smiles on everyone, send him a beautiful smile too. Life before her is even more beautiful and precious.