Texas-born artist Wayne Hilton has been fascinated by Mexican culture and Dia de Los Muertos ever since he was a child. He found himself particularly intrigued with La Catrina, the skeletal image so often associated with the Day of the Dead. As an adult, Hilton has created a body of work using La Catrina as a kind of artistic scaffolding for his intricate, highly-detailed creations using beads, jewelry, fabric, and more. He calls his group of decorated skeletons "Hermosos Huesos," or "beautiful bones." As he told KPR's Laura Lorson, there's a rich political and artistic subtext to the figure of La Catrina that lends itself to a kind of over-the-top, ornate decorative style.
Artist Wayne Hilton spoke with KPR's Laura Lorson. The Hermosos Huesos exhibition opens tonight (FRI) at the Mulvane Art Museum in Topeka, with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30. The sculptures will be on display until December 20. The Topeka Dia de Los Muertos Festival has been going on all month, and continues until November 3. For more information, visit the Hermosos Huesos project, the Tonantzin Society website, and the Mulvane Art Museum.