One of the enduring motifs in the history of art is the lively skeleton, more specifically, the walking, dancing, talking and laughing skeleton.The body of bones that is made to perform human actions, who is re-animated with life by an artist's hand, is a cheery fellow; he isn't decaying or in a state of putrefaction.
No, the skeleton is not a frightful thing to behold.He
is, in fact, an old friend.
That is not to say he
is a welcomed friend, but he
is dependable.He is a consultant who always gives the same advice no matter the question.He
is a guide who always leads us to the same place no matter where we are going.He
is a lover, propagating himself with each kiss.He
lifts us up, but only in waiting for the time when he
can be freed from his
meaty clothes and to live once again in the imagination, on paper or canvas.
The "danse macabre," or the Dance of Death, emerged as a graphic and sculptural form in the Middle Ages in Europe among plague and war as a sort of comic relief; ironic optimism is better than no optimism at all.His
image was embraced and promoted in plays, on tombs, in literature and in the hands of draughtsman.He
became a character that reminded us of a dire lesson with weighty finality, upstaging Christ and the devil's game of good versus bad.
...Also by Jason Foumberg