Random Designs

6/7/12 – Top 5 most random Sugar Skulls.

I have realised that the sugar skulls have become a recent trend in contemporary art, design and popular culture. The internet has also identified different styles, images and representations of the Mexican sugar skulls, although there some very random designs. From T-Shirt designs to telephones, slippers and even drink coasters, the Mexican skulls have become a popular representation, which are continually reproduced for a mass market.

Are the sugar skulls an authentic representation of the Mexican Day of the Dead Festival? Perhaps the commercialisation of the Mexican skulls, allows any culture or tradition to celebrate and participate in Mexico’s celebration with the dead. The list features five random designs that I have discovered through the internet, which also questions whether the Mexican skulls are mass-produced due to their popularity amongst the modern consumer.

#1 T-Shirt Design: Donuts, Ice cream and lollies in the shape of a Mexican sugar skull

The T-Shirt design features the shape of the Mexican sugar skull, which is juxtaposed with two donuts, a soft serve of vanilla ice cream and wrapped lollies. The donuts create the eye sockets, the ice cream creates the nose and the lollies create the teeth, which contrast with the light blue swirls in the foreground.

The design is definitely interesting and the different colours immediately contrasts with the actual shape of the skull. One could argue that the t-shirt design is a contemporary appropriation of the Mexican sugar skulls and the image also features a pop / retro style.

The T-shirt is well designed and the style does remind me of the Simpsons, especially the pink sprinkled donuts. Perhaps the design reflects a similar style to the Mexican sugar skulls with reference to contemporary art and popular culture. I am actually planning to buy this t shirt and I do appreciate the design and the style.


#2 Day of the Dead Telephone

I originally found the telephone on the internet and I can’t help but wonder why there is an actual telephone with Day of the Dead imagery? The telephone is quite a random design and the colours definitely  contrast with the shape of the skull in the top right hand corner.

Perhaps the vintage telephone reflects the commercialisation of the skull and the Day of the Dead festival. I wouldn’t see why there is a purpose to design a Day of the Dead telephone and one could argue that there isn’t any cultural or historical reference with the dead. The phone is just another commercial or commoditized product, designed for mass consumption, although the visual aesthetics are very colourful and dynamic.


#3 Day of the Dead Barbie

There is limited information in relation to the Mexican skull Barbie and it’s quite difficult to determine who had created the design. The image was found through the internet and one could argue that the Mexican skull makeup actually makes Barbie look interesting.

The design in itself is quite interesting and the different colours invites one to observe the different shapes and compositions. The artist has used a highly recognisable commercial product as the base for artistic or creative expression in regards to the Mexican skulls.


#4 Mexican Skull Slippers

There are even Mexican skull slippers, which may clearly demonstrate how the Day of the Dead has become a commercialised product. I am not particually keen on the slippers, although the shape and the design is definitely eye catching.


# 5 Day of the Dead Toilet

Yes I managed to find toilets with the image of the skull in regards to the Day of the Dead festival. From a personal perspective, the toilet isn’t tasteful at all and it’s quite hard to determine how an actual toilet actually reflect the Day of the Dead Culture. The toilet is very random, although it is very gimmicky and commercialised. Is the toilet taking commercialisation too far?


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