Posts Tagged: Dia De Los Muertos

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Meets Day of the Dead

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Every year on May 4th, fans celebrate International Star Wars Day by throwing parties, wearing their best Star Wars gear, occasionally dancing in the street, and of course, watching the famous saga. We also say, “May the fourth be with you” because, let’s be honest, it’s such a great pun! The month of May has been an important month for Star Wars fans since the original film was released on May 25, 1977. In fact, all of the first 6 Star Wars films were released in May. (It also happens to be the birthday month of the Maker himself, George Lucas.)

Opening day at Grauman's Chinese Theater, May 25 1977

Opening day at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, May 25 1977

I always look forward to May 4th because I love seeing all the artwork, crafts, and videos creators make in honor of this special day. This year, one of my favorite artists, John Karpinsky, has released a new Día de los Muertos collection inspired by The Force Awakens. Just in time for Star Wars Day! After watching The Force Awakens, John said he was inspired to start creating again and boy, am I glad he did! A few years ago my husband surprised me with 13 of John’s prints from his Guerra de las Galaxias collection and I’ve been a fan of John’s ever since! Here is some artwork from his previous collection:

guerra+de+las+galaxias+-+dia+de+muertos+-+john+karpinsky+-+blog-bluff

I think John’s work is a wonderful blend of American culture and Mexican culture. It means a lot to me as a Mexican-American Star Wars fan. Death can be a scary thought but Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is actually a celebration of life. The holiday is a chance to celebrate the lives of family members and friends who have passed. In some ways, it’s a holiday that unifies opposite emotions—the sadness you feel when you lose someone you love and the happiness you remember when they were alive. Star Wars also unifies opposites—the dark side and the light side of the Force—as it’s characters try to achieve balance between the two in both themselves and the galaxy. Like Día de los Muertos, Star Wars also deals with life and death and shows that if you’re a Jedi, your spirit might live on in the form of a Force ghost. Coincidentally, the belief in ghosts and spirits is also a part of Mexican culture.

 

In my mind, John’s artwork captures both the spirit of Star Wars and Day of the Dead beautifully. His work represents the juxtaposition between the dark and the light which was also a theme in The Force Awakens. John Karpinsky’s new ‘Force Collection’ is a set of prints that features the stars of Episode VII—Rey, Finn (FN-2187), Poe Dameron, and BB-8.

Rey_Day of the Dead

Rayo de Luz/Ray of Light

 

Finn Day of the Dead

El Traidor/The Traitor

 

Poe Dameron Day of the Dead

Guerrero Alado/Winged Warrior

 

Diablo Hilatura/Spinning Devil

Diablo Hilatura/Spinning Devil

Every time I saw The Force Awakens in the theater, the crowd laughed and cheered when BB-8 gave his lighter thumbs up. It’s definitely one of my favorite moments from the film and I love that John paid homage to it and included a special little detail.

BB-8 lighter thumbs up

I’m absolutely in love with these prints. Their colors are so vivid and it’s fun to sit and look at all the ornate details in each one. A huge thank you to John Karpinsky for sending me this set! I can’t wait to frame them and proudly display them in my home! This new era of Star Wars has been an exciting time for all of us fans and I look forward to the many new creative works it will continue to inspire. Be sure to check out John Karpinsky’s Etsy shop to see more of his incredible work and/or to purchase 8×10’s or limited edition 12×12’s of these prints! You can also learn more about John and his story HERE. May the Fourth be with you! 😀

Star Wars Day of the Dead

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Whenever I think of Dia de los Muertos, I picture ornately decorated skulls and whimsical skeletal scenes.

Even though the holiday is synonymous with skeletons and skulls, Day of the Dead is actually a celebration of life!  On November 1st in Mexico, people gather to remember & honor family members & friends who have passed away.  The idea is that even though the deceased are no longer with us physically, they are with us spiritually.  For those who celebrate this holiday, the memories of past times are alive and well.

For artist John Karpinsky, the same can be said about his childhood memories of Star Wars.  His Guerra de las Galaxias prints are a “tribute to characters of my youth, an invitation to the celebration of that cultural phenomenon that shaped my life so long ago.”  I’ve been an admirer of John’s work ever since I first saw his prints on Tumblr last year.  I loved how beautifully he fused Star Wars with the traditional Dia de los Muertos artistic style.

So when my birthday rolled around this year, my boyfriend surprised me with the greatest gift of all—13 prints from John Karpinsky’s Guerra de las Galaxias collection!  What a guy.  When I opened the box and started looking through the artwork, I was amazed at the vibrancy of the colors, not to mention the incredible detail in each print.  As a lover of Star Wars and a Mexican-American gal, John’s art perfectly encapsulates who I am. Whether it’s the ornately tribal Stormtrooper or the X-Wing Fighter Pilot with roses in his eyes, I’m in love with all of his designs.  In fact, I’ve dedicated an entire wall in my living room to displaying his artwork!

There was also another little surprise in the box from John Karpinsky himself!  <happy dance>

I was so touched by this special birthday card John created for me!  I must admit, I got a little teary-eyed.  The detail in my Death Star costume is astounding.  He even included the tiny stars on my tights!  And the little Ewok piñata…I can’t repel cuteness of that magnitude!  Thank you John for making my birthday so memorable!!!

For more on John Karpinsky’s work, check out his store on Etsy.  The quality of his artwork is impeccable!  If you want to infuse your home or office with a little Star Wars magic, then these are the prints you’re looking for.  No Jedi Mind Trick necessary.  ; )