Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated in particular in the Central and South regions. The celebration focuses on family and friends that gather together to pray for their loved ones who have passed away. It starts on the 31st of October and ends on November 2nd, taking place at the same time with the Roman Catholic trio of celebrations: All Hallows’ Eve, Hallowmas, and All Souls’ Day. California-based photographer Tim Tadder was inspired by this celebration and created a stunning photography album called Las Muertas.
Mictecacihuatl was considered the goddess of the underworld by the Aztecs. She was sacrificed as an infant and became known as Lady of Death. In his series of photos, Las Muertas, Tim Tadder brings her back to life and pays a visual homage to the Aztec roots of Dia de los Muertos. The skull painted women in his photos refer to Mictecacihuatl who was depicted as having a defleshed body.
“The Dia De Los Muertos festival is a beautiful display of culture, one that being in southern California is hard to hides its influence on visual arts. In October of 2014, I discovered Krisztianna, a Los Angeles artist that creates incredible Dia De Los Muertos sculptures. Inspired by her sculptures, I approached her about collaborating on a photoshoot. Krisztianna crafted a Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall set and hand painted the models as well as illustrating the portrait designs,” said Tim Tadder, explaining how his idea came to fruition.
The vivid colors used for the models posing in Las Muertas create a sharp contrast with the desolate surroundings. The women ooze beauty and deadliness, yet their faces remain impassive or casual at best. They roam the underworld as its mistresses, but do not allow themselves to become involved in their surroundings.
“The combination of color, destruction and foreboding storm makes a truly surreal tribute to the traditions of the Dia De Los Muertos holiday,” added Tadder.
What do you think of the Las Muertas series?