An “invasion” of skulls in Madrid
An urban art exhibition invites locals and tourists to relive the famous Day of the Dead in Madrid.
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There are giant sculptures. Not just one, not two, not three… There are a total of 19 giant skulls scattered throughout one of the main tourist attractions in Madrid — the well-known Parque de Retiro.
Walking through this public garden, considered a true green lung of the city, visitors can find colorful skulls that measure 1.6 meters wide by 1.8 meters high.
These creations are part of an urban art exhibition called Mexicráneos, which reflects the taste for a popular icon that is crossing borders.
The exhibition, which travels to several countries around the world, including several places in Mexico, has been visited by 12 million people in the United States, Lille, France and other Spanish cities, such as Torrejón de Ardoz, Parla, Valencia and Ferrol.
The skulls are inspired by one of the most traditional festivals in Mexican culture — The Day of the Dead, which is celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2 every year. The celebration has been declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
In addition to these creations, visitors to Retiro will be able to find a bancatrina and two hanging heads that offer an updated version of pre-Hispanic rituals. These ceremonies consist of adorning the skulls with funeral rites to exhibit them, which make the skulls symbols of transcendence to the spiritual plane.
All these sculptures exhibited in the Madrid garden have been created by renowned and emerging artists to commemorate Mexican tradition and folklore.
Through the intervention in the skulls, the sculptors are able to recreate colors, flavors and smells that integrate the idiosyncrasy of the Mexican people in the legendary tradition.
The skulls are made of fiberglass on a mold and combine traditional art and modernity to convey the vision of Mexican culture about death to visitors.
The exhibit is free and open access and can be visited until July 25.
The creation of Mexicráneos was the idea of a funeral service company that seeks to break the taboo around death, and show one of the many faces that mourning can take in the world.
A little bit more about Mexicráneos
With five successful editions, and national and international tours, Mexicráneos is the largest urban art exhibition in Mexico.
The collection consists of a total of 170 monumental skulls, 130 skulls in Mexico, 40 worldwide and more than 300 litho skulls.
The project was born in 2017 to extol Mexican culture by using one of the most important celebrations of Mexicans. It is changing the way people approach art. How? Bringing art to people.