Abril Andrade Griffith: I was introduce to this holiday in school when i lived in Mexico.
DD: What is your favorite Day of the Dead tradition?
AAG: Putting together the altar , eating pan de muerto and visiting the cemetery on November 1st to celebrate with other all through the night [through] good music and good memories.
DD: How does your community respond to Day of the Dead?
AAG: Day of the Dead is not a very well known holiday here. Schools talk about it and do projects, and I was part of a Day of the Dead Community night where I made 50 Sugar Skulls for kids to decorate. It was a lot of fun.
DD: Do you have a particular Day of the Dead artist whose work you admire?
AAG: Lulu MypinkTurtle , Brandon Maldonado, Brian Viveros and Sylvia Ji.
DD: Is there anything else about Day of the Dead that you would like to share?
AAG: El Dia de los Muertos definitely has a big effect in my art. It inspires me everyday to create very emotional paintings. A lot of people connect with them [at] a personal level. I enjoy painting and sharing my culture with the world.
DD: Your calacas reflect a unique aesthetic and yet they are easily recognizable as being associated with the tradition. How long did it take you to arrive at this level of cohesion, and are you working toward a further development of your work in this genre?
AAG: My skeletons change a little with the years. I went from painting a realistic looking bone structure to a more doll like figure. I am always creating new creatures to add to my collection. I’m sure there will be new skeletons in the future.
DD: More specifically, it appears that “taken away name”, “waiting for your”, and “toma mi corazon” all appear to form a series. Can you explain more about the meaning of these pieces and the concepts you are exploring in them?
AAG: I try to explore the many emotions one has: Fear, grief, love, rage, happiness, sadness,pain, pleasure,anxiety, joy , hope , despair, acceptance, and wonder. Everyone can [relate] to having felt one or all at one time. My paintings express what we are all feeling , and that is one of the reasons people connect with my paintings.
To learn more about Abril Andrade Griffith‘s artwork visit www.abrilandrade.com.