A Closer Look at La Catrina


My coworker Alfredo stands with a few of the many Catrinas he created this year for a Day of the Dead exhibit earlier this month.

Alfredo is a coworker of mine who appears to be an unassuming maintenance man but also happens to be an extraordinarily talented artist.

In early November he put together an exhibit of Catrina figures that he had created. La Catrina is the elegantly-dressed skeleton-figure that we associate with Mexican Day of the Dead artwork. She is basically a made-up skeleton combined with the frilly dress and accessories of 18th-century colonial aristocracy. She is a legendary figure in Mexican culture.

As the Spanish version of Catherine, “Catrina” somehow became a derisive shorthand term for the upper-class ladies of colonial Mexico. The name was applied to this figure of death to poke fun at the emptiness of wealth and all its expressions. La Catrina reflects the realization that death is the great equalizer; she’s the ultimate you-can’t-take-it-with-you statement.

On November 4 my coworker Alfredo  put his Catrina creations on display and invited the community to visit. He kindly agreed to let me take photos, which I present here.

catrinas-11 catrinas-12 catrinas-4 catrinas-5 catrinas-6 catrinas-7 catrinas-8 catrinas-9 catrinas-1 catrinas-2


2 thoughts on “A Closer Look at La Catrina

  1. Certainty a work of art, although I am not familiar with this tradition. I do hope and trust that your colleague has had opportunity to see these spectacular photographs of his work, and the interesting commentary accompanying them. Bravo to both.

    Regards, Simmi D. Isaac


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