Danza con los Muertos / Dances with the dead
Moises I. Santaella 1887
Acrylic, metal leaf, ribbon on tulle
36 inches high by 30 inches wide by 10 inches deep.

Embellished rubbing from Panteón General (General Cemetery), Oaxaca, Mexico.

This piece hangs from the ceiling by invisible monofilament.
Contemporary/modern abstract art paintings by Patricia Forbes Danza con los Muertos / Dances with the dead Acrylic transfer on acrylic surface with Recycled glass angels
Angel Francisco
Acrylic transfer on acrylic surface with Recycled glass angels
15 inches high by 15 inches wide
$1950

Embellished tombstone rubbing from Panteón General (General Cemetery), Oaxaca, Mexico.

This piece hangs from the ceiling by invisible monofilament.

FRANCISCO CARRANZA Y GRASIDA

ANGEL FUGAZ QUE, CRUZANDO LA TIERA COMO EL RELAMPAGO,

VIVIO SOLO 2 ANOS, 11 MESES, Y 3 DIAS.
SEPULTADOS AQUIS SUS RESTOS SE SEPULTARON CON ELLOS EL GOSO Y TRANQUILIDAD DE SUS PADRES.
¡EL 3 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 1883!

Translation:

Fleeting angel that crossed the land like a bolt of lightning, only 2 years, 11 months, and 13 days old.

Buried here his remains were buried with the joy and tranquility of his parents.

September 3, 1883
Contemporary/modern abstract art paintings by Patricia Forbes Danza con los Muertos / Dances with the dead Acrylic, metal leaf, ribbon on tulle
Juan Angulo
Acrylic, metal leaf, ribbon on tulle
46 inches high by 26 inches wide by 9 inches deep
$1950

Embellished tombstone rubbing from Panteón General (General Cemetery), Oaxaca, Mexico. Also hangs from ceiling by invisible monofilament.

Poem and transaction from stone below:

JUAN ANGULO.
FALLECIO EL 12 DE ENARO DE 1883
Á LA EDAD DE 58 AñOS
SU ESPOSA E HIJOS LE DEDICAN A SUS
MEMORIA LA PRESENTE.

DESCANSA EN PAZ EN LA ULTIMA MORADA
ADONDE ACABA EL SUEñO DE LA VIDA,
DE TODO SE COMPUNDE Y SE ANOMADA
QUAL COTA DE AGUA DENTRO EL MAR PERDIDA
QUE AQUI A LAS PUERTAS DE LA IMMENSA
UN HIMNO TE ALZA EL ALMA DOLORIDA
EL HIMNO DEL AMOR CON QUE RESISTE
LA PERDIDA DEL SER QUE YA NO EXISTE.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
JUAN ANGULO

Passed away the 12 of January 1883
The age of 58 years
His wife and children dedicate him to their
memory of the present

Rest in peace in that last dwelling place
Where the dream of life ends
Of everything that is compounded and stunned
Which level of water inside the lost sea
That here at the gates of the immense
A hymn lifts your soul in pain
A hymn of love with which it resists
The loss of the being that no longer exists

Contemporary/modern abstract art paintings by Patricia Forbes Danza con los Muertos / Dances with the dead Acrylic transfer and buttons on acrylic surface.
Jorge Meixueiro Hernandez 1943
Acrylic transfer and buttons on acrylic surface.
12 inches by 12 inches

Embellished tombstone rubbing from Panteón General (General Cemetery), Oaxaca, Mexico.

This piece hangs from the ceiling by invisible monofilament.


JORGE MEIXUEIRO HERNANDEZ
DEFENSOR DE LAS CAUSAS CAMPESINAS
MURIÓ POR ÉSTAS, EN LA CAMARA DE DIPUTADOS
EL 18 DE AGOSTO DE 1943
ERNESTO MEIXUEIRO HERNANDEZ


Defender of the peasant causes
Died for these, in the Chamber of Deputies
On August 18, 1943


The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of the bicameral Mexican parliament.

February 1943 volcano Paricutin erupted reaching more than 1,000 feet in height within a year.
Contemporary/modern abstract art paintings by Patricia Forbes Danza con los Muertos / Dances with the dead Acrylic transfer, metal leaf, ribbon, buttons, thread on tulle
His House
Acrylic transfer, metal leaf, ribbon, buttons, thread on tulle
45 inches high by 26 inches wide by 10 inches deep
$1950

This embellished tombstone rubbing is from San Isidro Cemetery, Corrales, New Mexico. This piece hangs from the ceiling by invisible monofilament.
Contemporary/modern abstract art paintings by Patricia Forbes Danza con los Muertos / Dances with the dead Acrylic, metal jewelry, and ribbon on tulle
1892
Acrylic, metal jewelry, and ribbon on tulle
38 inches high by 28 inches wide by 10 inches deep

This embellished tombstone rubbing is from San Isidro Cemetery, Corrales, New Mexico.

This piece hangs from the ceiling by invisible mono filament.
Contemporary/modern abstract art paintings by Patricia Forbes Danza con los Muertos / Dances with the dead
Self photo at San Isidro Cemetery, Corrales, New Mexico

Working on tombstone rubbings at San Isidro Cemetery.
Contemporary/modern abstract art paintings by Patricia Forbes Danza con los Muertos / Dances with the dead
Tombstone rubbing in process at San Isidro Cemetery.

Image shows how I create tombstone rubbings.
Contemporary/modern abstract art paintings by Patricia Forbes Danza con los Muertos / Dances with the dead
Tools and materials used to create tombstone rubbings.

The rubbings in this collection come from El Panteone General in Oaxaca, Mexico, and from San Isidro Cemetery in Corrales, New Mexico.
 
Life and death are inextricably paired in an eternal dance. In "Danza con los Muertos/Dances with the Dead" I am exploring this paradoxical pairing through combined cemetery tombstone rubbings, photography, and mixed materials.
 
In a way, this is an extension of a childhood experience. I remember my genealogist mother taking us with her on searches for ancestral gravestones where we would rub chalk on the stones to reveal the inscriptions.
 
In addition to the names, dates, and stories I always was intrigued by the many different patterns engraved on the stones. 
  
But life and death are so naturally and inextricably linked, what truly is “the end”?
 
Such a holding of death as a natural part of life, reveals an eternal ongoing dance of beauty and wonder.
 
My hope is that these pieces provide an opportunity for viewers to gently experience that universal tension of life’s beginnings and endings, theirs and others. And perhaps thereby even gain insights into how myriad different cultures and histories have arisen exactly from the same beginnings and endings.
 
In a similar manner, this “tangible art-of-stuff” is simultaneously a dance with an “intangible stuff-of-art”.
 
While my work is always light-hearted and joy-filled, my personal challenge with “Dances with the Dead” was to bring the same sensitivity and consciousness to this human paradox.
 
I find myself as a contemporary abstract artist drawn to both an external ”real” world of paint, paper, and texture, and at the same time, to an internal “surreal, imaginal” world of intuitive guidance and inspiration.
 
In this case, the materials are a variety of acrylics, photographic images, papers, and textures, plus my delight in attempting an orchestration that both engages the viewer and challenges my current artistic abilities.