DIa de los Muertos PAINTINGS: Day of the Dead Offerings and Skeletons

Ofrendas y Calacas is a painting series by artist David Manje of Arroyo Press Studio. Dia de los Muertos is the theme of these paintings. Calacas (skeletons) are superimposed over the living form. Ofrendas are offerings of a spiritual or sensory nature designed to entice the deceased home to share one more day on earth with the living.

The painting “Recuerdos de mi Papa” depicts an alter offering. The ofrenda sets out familiar objects to provide a  sensory experiences of life on earth with the intent of guiding the deceased back home to spend one more day with loved ones. The alter reminds them of the world they knew. The smell of roses, the guiding light of a candles, and the colors and textures of home.

These paintings contain other symbolic imagery that the artist uses to evoke a visual narrative. The human heart represents his father’s love. Roses represent his mother and the scent she wore. Flying boats navigate the void between life and death. And the floating house represent the endurance and the treasure of family. In a way, it is also symbolic of the true story of his family home. A little house that began its existence on Maxwell Hill in Bisbee, Arizona. It and many other homes were moved by the mining company to pit mine Maxwell hill. It survived that move in 1945 and endures as the family home today.

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