I first got introduced to altars when I volunteer to build one for a Day of the Dead event in community college. While I was fascinated with the decoration of skulls and the colorful use of “Papel Picado” an artistic use of paper cut designs; I was more interested in understanding the historical context of what Day of the Dead meant, and the spiritual connection to indigenous people.
My curiosity led to learning about how indigenous people during the Spanish conquest hid their native beliefs underneath Christian practices and symbolism. While the project is rooted in the effects of colonization, it also highlights the fusion of spiritual practices that are characteristics of altars.
The pictures lean towards a narrative approach and are intended to be depictive. All my images are in color to provide a more realistic and documentary approach. Through the use of color, I communicate emotion and expression, love, sorrow, and transcendence.
© Edgar Ibarria