9/5/12 – Artist Profile
A friend had suggested to research this particular artist as part of my research project, which also initiated an interested discussion in relation to the representation of the skull within Tattoo’s or illustrations.
According to the Outre Gallery website Angelique Houtkamp is a European “tattoo artist” who combines traditional tattoo designs will contemporary hollywood cinema in order to establish a unique or distinctive style. The Outre Gallery also sell, display and distribute the artist’s work.
On Houtkamp’s website, the artist explains her own career, practise, objectives and achievements. The website also explains that the artist’s work is inspired by “Hollywood Romance” and the Festival of the Dead, which is emphasised throughout Houtkamp’s body of work.
The image at the top for instance features a beautiful woman kissing a skull that is dressed in a tuxedo, which may reflect certain scene within modern romance films.
The bright red significantly contrast with the woman’s black hair the skull’s suit, which emphasises the gentle embrace between the living and the deceased.
The composition between the flowers and the skeletal figure may feature similarities to the Day of the Dead Festival in Mexico, which also combine flowers or other natural elements with representations of death.
One could argue that the unity between the woman and the skeleton replicates a very similar style to the Mexican Day of the Dead.
The skeleton is also dressed as a living person, which also mimics everyday life or humanity and Chole Sayar also argues that this particular form of representation is very popular within the Mexican culture.
Houtkamp’s website also indicates the artist is also interested in the “Hallstatt Skulls“, which have become an area of contemplation.
Christine Quigley in Skulls and Skeletons: Human Bone Collections and Accumulations highlights that many skulls were adorned with artistic representations and decorative illustrations from inhabitants within Austria.
The skulls were stored with religious or sacred buildings and a local artist was commissioned to transform the skulls into an aesthetic.
One could argue that each skull features a different designs, style or representation, which may also emphasise that the shape or the size of the skull varies depending upon the person’s race, gender and culture.
These particular theories are also clarified within Mcdonald’s text who argues that each examination featured different results depending upon the person’s background, lifestyle, gender or heritage.
I would like to contend that the skulls do feature similarities to the Mexican sugar skulls and each decoration may allow the living to eliminate anxieties or uncertainties surrounding the subject of death.
The Hallstatt Skulls have become a very new or recent area of research, which is particularly factinating and the objective is to examine this subject in further detail in order to identify different interpretations of death.
Sayar, Chloe. Fiesta: Days of the Dead & Other Mexican Festivals. Texas: University of Texas Press, 2009.
Outre Gallery. “Angelique Houtkamp.” Outre Gallery http://www.outregallery.com/browse.aspx?Category=32. (Accessed 9/5/12)
Houtkamp, Anqelique. “Info and Artwork.” Anqelique Houtkamp http://www.salonserpent.com/info.html.
Quigley, Christine. Skulls and Skeletons: Human Bone Collections and Accumulations. North Carolina McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2001 p.146-155