Catherine Martin

1/6/12 – Our Exquisite Corpse: Interview with Catherine Martin by Lilli Heinemann

The other day a friend asked me why are the Mexican sugar skulls so popular? This was a very interesting question and I began to actually think why are the Mexican skulls popular? Are they popular within the Western culture? I typed in Mexican sugar skulls and fashion into Google images, which displayed  very colourful, beaded skulls from artist Catherine Martin.

According to Lilli Heinemann from the LN-CC website, Catherine Martin’s was inspired from her visit to Mexico and the artist began to create ‘paper masche’ skulls, which were combined with different styles or decorations. Martin was also interested in beads, which were then combined with the shape of the skull.

In an interview with Catherine Martin, the artist discusses her own brand also known as “All Exclusive corpse”, which also invites other artists to create different different styles.

Martin also explains that her brand is inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead and the artist also discovered different cultures or religions that would include different beads into their works. Martin also works with other indigenous communities within Mexico and exports their work to different countries.

Lilli Heinemann also explains that Martin’s own designs or patterns are incorporated with other styles from the Mexican culture and the artist also sends images to certain ‘tribes’. Martin also mentions that ‘beading’ is an extremely significant part of their culture, historically, culturally and religiously.

During the last section of the interview Lilli Heinemann asks Martin to explain her own interpretations of the skull within the Mexican culture. Martin suggests that there are certain Mexican communities that uses vibrant colours, beads and other elaborative designs in order to come to terms with death. Martin also explains that these particular decorations combine the image of death with the subject of beauty.

When I first discovered Catherine Martin’s skulls, I was immediately attracted to the colour, the shape and the design. One could argue that the different colours invite the audience to comprehend the visual aesthetics before the actual shape or image of the skull. Perhaps These particualr representations invite the viewer to recognise that death is just as important as life itself.

Lilli Heinemann. “Interview: Catherine Martin – Our Exquistie Corpse.” LN – CC, (Accessed 1/6/12)

Image Citations:

5 responses to “Catherine Martin

  • mr.Lou

    Reblogged this on Dead Deco and commented:
    In follow up to yesterday’s Tat Tues discussion regarding sugar skull popularity, we had planned to offer an essay explaining their significance today. However, while researching the web we came across this article from our kindred-blogger, Black Calavera. It is an excellent place to begin delving into the phenomena of the decorated skull’s rise in popularity. Enjoy and Many thanks to Black Calavera-DD

  • mr.Lou

    This is a great article. We just had to reblog it on

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