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Les Mignons Macabres

     I grew up in a very old, very full house. There were always sepia-toned photos of scowling dead relatives on the walls, yellowing lace curtains over the windows, puzzle boxes, trinkets from foreign travels, armoires and antique steamer trunks, everything was old and worn from use. Antiques and heirlooms were usable and used everyday, but also frighteningly irreplaceable. Les Mignons Macabres, or “The Adorable Dead,” toy with this grandmother's attic feeling. They are smiling, welcoming, and inviting, yet unsettling. Reminiscent of old family photos in recycled frames with faded watercolor, bright ink, and sepia-stained coffee coloring, many of the images are named after relatives or childhood experiences and characters. They are childlike in their approach to the subject matter; dead animals sit like dolls at a tea party, but unlike images of fully taxidermied beasts, they do not hide behind a life-like facade. Their skull-faced grins are perpetually smiling, their bodies calmly personified, playing at life.

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