Memento Mori Art

Memento Mori Art

Memento Mori Art

We are working on a 'Memento Mori Art' sideshow. Join our Circus by scrolling to the form at the bottom of this page to keep updated.

"Remember that you will die". What it is about death that mortifies us? Death of a loved one, especially of one taken much too soon, and thinking of our own inevitable demise, can carry with it ebbs of pain, loss, regret, guilt, and an aching longing to be able to change what has come to pass. It is quite understandable why we would avoid reflecting about death when we feel we don’t have to.

When our circumstances finally force us, however, to come to terms with death, more often than not we are left paralyzed by the emotions we attempted to avoid having in the first place. Our avoidance of discussing our own mortality renders most of us unprepared for the inevitable.

On the whole, Western Culture tends to regard the topic of death as ‘taboo’ because it is simply too morbid. It, however, does not have to be.

Memento mori art, both historical and contemporary forms, serve to remind us of our own mortality. Instead of contemplating on this reality as something to be feared or to cause despair, the art of Memento Mori challenges us to use the knowledge of the limited time we have as mortal beings to live a worthy life. A reminder that death is inevitable and cannot be contained also encourages us to treasure the time we have left with our loved ones.

Five artists who have created beautiful works depicting the inevitability of death have been chosen for this particular feature. In the weeks to come, separate features for each artist will be posted conveying more information about their thoughts on ‘Memento Mori, the art of dying, and their own mortality. For now, here is a list of the artists, samples of their work, and a teaser (if you will) of what is yet to come.

1 - Karen Nemes of La Grotesquerie

"I had my children and married young. After 20 years I found myself single and displaced to a large extent. I realized it was up to me to decide where my life would go next. All those things I said I'd like to do "someday" were not going to magically happen. I have developed an acute awareness of the impermanence of life, of time, of personal roles -- and this has been quite liberating. It's up to me to fashion a life that reflects my personal values, feelings, and desires. The memento mori tradition helps me to remember this on a daily basis."

La Grotesquerie

For more info on La Grotesquerie:
La Grotesquerie

2 - Todd Powelson

"I see divinity within every part of the created universe. We all have the divine within us, and so do the animals, plants, earth, moon and stars. Always moving forward, evolving into something new. Because I am (we are all) important part(s) of the animate universe, I don't think anything really ends when the body dies, it's just a change in form."

"Psychopomp" by Todd Powelson

For more info on Todd Powelson:
Todd Powelson

3 - Sasha Chaitow

"I'm not at all bothered about my own mortality; my only regret would be that there is so much I'd like to get done before my time's up and I always fear I'll run out of time. Other than that, it's just the next step in a much bigger story. However, humanity has built up so much of a mythos around death and cheating it, that it's an endless source of inspiration and imagery. Immortality comes from what we leave behind - the lives we touch and the art we create. Remembering that can put things in perspective…"

"Atropos: Medico della peste umana (Physician of the human plague)" by Sasha Chaitow

For more info on Sasha Chaitow:
Sasha Chaitow

4 - Michael Moore (Zoddo)

"I have always been more interested and fascinated with darker areas of life and death, the more morbid, unusual and strange things that surround us."

"Dance of the midnight moon with a dying hymn of doom" by Michael Moore

For more info on Michael Moore (Zoddo):
Michael Moore (Zoddo)

5 - Daniela Consoli (blackdandi)

"I perceive death as life’s natural continuing, just something that we pass on and restart as a new entity."

"Lady Calaveras" by Daniela Consoli

For more info on Daniela Consoli (blackdandi):
Daniela Consoli (blackdandi)