8/1/13 – Day of the Dead Figurine from Gasoline Queen in Richmond
Photography by Charlotte Pridding
For christmas I had bought my parents a Day of the Dead figurine from a small boutique store in Richmond also known as Gasoline Queen. I was walking down bridge street a few weeks ago and the small paper mache skulls in the front window had captured my attention; I decided to walk into the store and I was suddenly surrounded by Hawaiian shirts, rock and roll outfits and Day of the Dead skeletal figurines.
As soon as I recognised the colourful figurine on the top shelf, I immediately placed the skeleton onto the front counter. The skeleton does feature similar characteristics to the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico, especially the green, red and white dress.The skeletal figures that are associated with the Day of the Dead, are usually dressed in a range of different outfits; In “Day of the Dead in the USA” Regina. M. Marchi explains that the figurines are designed to mimic the living.
These caricatures provide quite an amusing and satirical approach to death; the figurine I had decided to buy does feature lively facial expressions, I honestly don’t think it’s meant to be taken seriously. For me it is quite difficult to associate this colourful figurine with morbid or grotesque representations of death.
The lady within the store had said that the figurine on the top shelf is also known as “señorita”, a Spanish term that is used before a woman’s first name or surname. I just could not walk out of the store without buying miss señorita. So I was incredibly bored one afternoon so I decided to take some photographs of the figurine that was placed on the television cabinet opposite the cookbooks.
Make sure to visit Gasoline Queen if you are in Melbourne, the Day of the Dead merchandise is just incredible! Or visit their Facebook Page, please click on the link below for further information.
Marchi, Regina.M. The Day of the Dead in the USA: The Migration and Transformation of a Cultural Phenomenan. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2009