Dome - One Female Skull Painting
From 1985 to the present, I have been living and working in San Antonio, Texas as a professional artist. During this period of time, I have had 26 solo exhibitions and have participated in many group shows. I have approximately 400 paintings in private and public collections including the San Antonio Museum of Art (San Antonio, Texas) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. General artistic concerns and themes: At the core of my methodology is a commitment to the ‘tradition’ of painting, to understanding the historical dialogue between surface and illusion, the pictorial and the plastic, subject and content. For approximately the past 20 years, I have been investigating, in general the issue of mediated representation and, specifically, the problematic relationship between image and its referent. The problem of making art intelligible is fundamentally semantic, not aesthetic. In my work, painting subjects (e.g. still life, landscape, animals, etc.) become convention ready-mades’, a foil, by which to explore the relationship between neutral subject, and active concept. Often with irony and humor, I hope to encourage the viewer to recognize the inherent slippage- the subject depicted as subject, and the painting as an artistic conceit as content. Also what I hope to be obvious in this work is the joy of painting , and the excitement of participation in the creative process.
Artist featured by Saatchi Art in a collection
Meet Sue Moerder, a former tattoo artist and advertising designer who’s now focusing on her true calling — creating skull art.
• On her first skull: “I can’t remember how I got it. You work in Jersey and everybody hunts and has deer skulls and then you’re a tattoo artist and everybody assumes you love skulls.”
• Heading off critics: “Some people look at skulls like they’re evil, or think they’re evil. I always tell them ‘Your brain is sitting in one now, and you seem like you’re OK.’ ”
Growing up in Delaware County, Sue Moerder — who pronounces her last name like murder — knew she was destined to be an artist.
“I never had any choice in the matter,” she said.
But of all the art forms she pursued, from advertising design to tattooing, Moerder never felt truly at home in any of them.
That is, until six years ago, when someone gave her a deer skull. Moerder started small, by decorating the skull with mandalas and lace, but over time, her pieces grew larger to include skulls within skulls, mannequin torsos, and unusual metal objects.
Last year, Moerder closed her tattoo shop in Hammonton, N.J., and in February, she moved to Northern Liberties to pursue her skull art full-time.
“COVID kind of made me realize at 61, I’m not completely happy, and if I’m going to make the move in my life, I better hurry up and do it,” she said. “It’s a big chance I’m taking right now and it’s scary, but it feels like it’s the right place.”
The “right place” is a private studio in her Philly rowhouse, where the front room is illuminated in red light and lined with dozens of sculptures, lamps, and mirrors created with the skulls of various animals, from hedgehogs to horses.
The effect is like a Tim Burton fever dream where the skulls — Frankensteined into entirely new and fantastical creatures ― appear to be on the brink of reanimation.
“People definitely don’t walk in here and act normal,” Moerder said.
And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’ve had people say stuff like ‘Oh my God, this is how I imagine heaven!’ ... and I’ve had people who don’t always get it, and that’s OK,” she said. “But for once in my life, I’m enjoying living with my art.”
The daughter of a photographer and art teacher, Moerder grew up in Media and attended the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts), where she majored in illustration. After graduation, she worked in advertising, both as a freelancer and an art director.
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In 2003, after her friend who was a member of the Wheels of Soul motorcycle club was shot and killed, Moerder started helping out her friend’s wife at his tattoo shop, JR’s Tattoos.
She worked at several shops before opening her own tattoo parlor, Moerder Tattoos, in 2012. During that time, she also took up skull art and turned half of her shop into a gallery to display her work and the work of other local artists.
While Moerder found many aspects of tattooing fulfilling, from covering unwanted scars to acting as an armchair therapist, she also found it stressful.
“If you mess up, it’s a lifetime of somebody carrying around your mistake,” she said. “It’s a lot of pressure, even if you know what you’re doing.”
When COVID-19 hit and Moerder was forced to close her shop, she spent her days creating skull art and spending time with her 21-year-old daughter, Mei. She also held online donation drives, where she tattooed herself live on Facebook, to raise money for PPE for essential workers.
That time with herself and her daughter made Moerder realize that if she was ever going to really pursue skull art, “now is the time.”
Moerder, whose friends affectionately refer to her as “The bitch with the bones,” now creates her pieces in her basement workshop, where the shelves are lined with skulls and bins of pelvic bones, platters, and pipes. Her pieces incorporate everything from cheese graters and forks to pressure gauges and keys.
“Everything is a treasure hunt now, wherever I go,” she said.
Moerder gets her skulls — including deer, coyotes, cats, foxes, beavers, minks, hedgehogs, turtles, ostriches, fish, birds, cows, sheep, pigs, and horses — off Etsy and eBay.
“Design-wise in nature, skulls are such an amazing structure,” she said. “When you think of something that’s designed to keep our whole essence pretty much cradled in a safe place, it’s really beautiful.”
Recently, Moerder created a chandelier where she fashioned ostrich and cat skulls to look like they’re hanging bats. Other skulls appear on clocks, mirrors, and mannequin bodies, including a bride with an elk skull and a female torso with a zebra skull that’s on top of a table and saw. It’s a piece Moerder calls Fallen Angel.
“She’sa statement on heroin addiction. She’s chained and bridled and spinning out of control,” Moerder said. “Maybe I’m the only one that gets it, but I felt so strongly at the time and saw so many friends falling to heroin, I had to say something.”
Moerder’s clients include oddity and outsider art collectors; taxidermy and skull aficionados; steampunk and horror fans; and “regular people” who want unique pieces.
After moving to Philly, Moerder started an “Artists of Philly Meet” Facebook group and the “Artists of Philly Pop-Up Co-Op.” Through the co-op, Moerder hopes to partner Philly artists looking for a place to show their work with area businesses who have wall space in need of art.
“I just want to create more opportunities for fellow artists,” she said.
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Those interested in the co-op or in Moerder’s skull art can contact her through her website, suemoerder.com (her studio is not open to the public). Moerder will also share a booth at the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention next month with her friend who creates scary dolls.
And for those wondering just how many skeletons Moerder has in her closet, she’s happy to correct you ...
“They’re not in my closet,” she said. “They’re out of the closet.”
• Shot in the head at 10, Oronde McClain is now an anti-violence activist.
• Philly DJ and musician Eddie Gieda has run for more than 500 days straight in memory of his wife.
• Check out more We the People here.
I write about what makes Philly weird, wild, and wonderfully unique. I also fight for Philly's honor against all of its haters.
10 giant, vibrantly colored skulls on display at Discovery Green - KHO__ KHO__Day of the Dead skulls settle into Discovery Green for Hispanic Heritage Month - Houston Chronicle Houston ChronicleDía de los Muertos skull installation coming to Discovery Green in October - KTRK-TV KTRK-TVMassive IG-worthy skulls dominate downtown in time for Día de los Muertos - CultureMap Houston CultureMap HoustonCelebrate the departed at 2021 Día de los Muertos events around Houston - 365 Things to Do in Houston 365 Things to Do in HoustonFirst Friday Art Trail begins Día de los Muertos exhibit - The Daily Toreador The Daily ToreadorNew organization to host Dia de los Muertos celebration - North Platte Telegraph North Platte TelegraphDay of the Dead now has a commemorative stamp. Here’s where you can buy it - The Dallas Morning News The Dallas Morning NewsSt. Pete gallery celebrates Day of the Dead Friday - St Pete Catalyst St Pete CatalystOrganizers of Aurora Sugar Skull City celebration looking for artists - Chicago Tribune Chicago Tribune6 Texas Towns To Celebrate The Day Of The Dead - TravelAwaits TravelAwaits19 Famous And Brilliant Paintings With Unknown Facts Make Them Even More Fascinating - BuzzFeed BuzzFeedHispanic Heritage Festival launches Saturday - Chicago Tribune Chicago TribuneYour weekend arts forecast: Benise at the Mahaffey, Second Saturday ArtWalk - St Pete Catalyst St Pete CatalystWhat Do Sugar Skulls Mean on El Día de los Muertos? - JSTOR Daily JSTOR DailyRead This Before Doing Sugar Skull Makeup - Refinery29 Refinery29Top 10 things to know about the Day of the Dead - National Geographic National Geographic13 Inventors Killed By Their Own Inventions - Mental Floss Mental FlossThe Best Themed Restaurant In Every State | Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That Eat This, Not ThatSugar Skull Art Walk begins Saturday - Mountain Democrat Mountain DemocratMeet Two Mexican Folk and Día de los Muertos Artists - San Antonio Magazine San Antonio MagazineSugar skulls to Pan de Muerto, MOLAA kicks off two-week Dia de los Muertos celebration • the Hi-lo - Long Beach Post Long Beach PostThe Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Review: And the Award for Wokeness Goes to... - The Wall Street Journal The Wall Street JournalSkulls spotted around San Antonio to celebrate Day of the Dead - KSAT San Antonio KSAT San AntonioWhat's hitting the shelves? New beverage launches: October - BeverageDail__ BeverageDail__'Sugar Skull!' to take families on sweet ride into Mexican culture Sept. 15-17 - Red Tricycle Red TricyclePHOTOS: The Dying Art of Making Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skulls - Munchies MunchiesAurora Celebrates The Day Of The Dead - WNIJ and WNIU WNIJ and WNIUThe unseen masterpieces of Frida Kahlo - BBC News BBC NewsPhiladelphia's Magic Gardens to honor Dia De Muertos with free sugar skull craft kits - WPVI-TV WPVI-TVIs Day of the Dead Skull Makeup on Halloween Offensive? It Depends - POPSUGAR POPSUGAR'It’s a happy celebration’: Maker of sugar skulls describes the significance of Dia de Muertos memorials - Chicago Tribune Chicago TribuneViva La Vida Imports brings handmade items from Mexico to new store in Detroit - Detroit Free Press Detroit Free PressOver 100 Human Skulls Discovered in Mexico City Temple — What Archeologists Make of the Find - Travel + Leisure Travel + LeisureThe LA TACO 69: The Tacos That Define Los Angeles, Mapped - LA TACO - L.A. TACO L.A. TACO A new Día de los Muertos musical for family audiences tours the U.S. - Los Angeles Times Los Angeles TimesMexican papier-mâché means a party on Day of the Dead and beyond - National Geographic Traveler Magazine National Geographic Traveler MagazineDía de Los Muertos 2021 - californiamuseu__ californiamuseu__Invisible invader: Indigenous artists respond to the nuclear legacy - Santa Fe New Mexican Santa Fe New MexicanThe Walking Dead: Day of the Dead art and zombies - Undead Walking Undead WalkingThe Real Story Behind Aztec Crystal Skulls - Discover Magazine Discover MagazineThe Dia de Los Muertos exhibition at Florida CraftArt is full of life and color. As it should be. Initiative Focused on U.S. Latinx Artists - ARTnews ARTnews30 Sugar Skull Nail Accents That Honor Your Mexican Heritage on Día de los Muertos - POPSUGAR POPSUGARDay of the Dead sugar skull tattoos: The meaning is more than skin deep - AZCentral AZCentralBelgian artist Wim Delvoye's 'human canvas' piece inspired new body tattoo movie - Art Newspaper Art NewspaperDay of the Dead: From Aztec goddess worship to modern Mexican celebration - The Conversation US The Conversation USDay of the Dead 2020 Aurora celebration spreads art, ofrendas all over downtown - WLS-TV WLS-TVPHOTOS: Mexican Masks Portray COVID As A Tiger, A Devil, A Blue-Eyed Man - KUAR KUAR
Sugar skulls, or calaveras de azúcar in Spanish, are decorations used to adorn altars during Day of the Dead celebrations. In Mexico, the Day of the Dead holiday is where the lives of loved ones who have passed are celebrated with offerings, food, and drink- we like to celebrate year-round with some amazing art! This Day of the Dead inspired canvas print features an alluring woman, Lady Luna, with her face elaborately adorned in colorful female sugar skull art, sitting against a vivid blue background. Wrapped canvas stretched on a wood frame with embedded hanger. Approximately 15” wide x 24” high. Sold individually.
Master Marcos male sugar skull art print is also available. Transform any space into a captivating and stimulating environment using unique works of art from PHAGs gallery of canvas and paper prints!
Art female skull
The bar was converted from some other room, (not so uncommon), so that the room with booths was simply divided by a partition on one side of which. There were women's properties, and on the other - men's. My companion made sure that the male half was empty and I went in after him.13 Creative And Mind Blowing Skull Art Ideas By Jack Of The Dust
Let's go to work. They quickly got dressed and left. And I lay there and was glad that they didnt notice me. Well, not a fig for myself - people live.
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I went out into the street when it was already night, and therefore I tried to walk so as not to clatter my heels. The park was very close and when I entered it, I was already exhausted from unusual sensations. - Hey.