Sugar skulls are normally made for an ancient Mexican Day of the Dead but this one is very much alive. Keeping with the true spirit of this festival, sugar skulls are not creepy or morbid. Instead, they are happy, vibrant candies that are often smiling or laughing. The bright colors and sparkly decorations on them are cheerful enough to clear away any fear or concern about what they stand for.
Day of the Dead sugar skulls come to life with the help of some body paint. The spectacular example of the brightly colored sugar skull is in fact the work of a body-painter who has used seven life models to create it. Cheryl Lipstreu covered the bodies of the naked women in sparkling white paint and brightly colored patterns. When the models all get into position they form a perfect sugar skull. The idea for this amazing piece was thought up by Rene Rodriguez, a Los Angeles photographer inspired by the work of Salvador Dali. And this stunning human sugar skull is based on Salvador Dali’s and Philippe Halsman’s collaboration.
A skull formed by seven nude women is an optical illusion by Salvador Dali, who first made a gouache painting of it “In Voluptas Mors”. In 1951, he adapted the work to a live photo shoot with Latvia photographer Philippe Halsman. This visual has maintained popularity throughout the years. It has been tattooed, printed on t-shirts, and artists have re-created it for film posters and magazine covers.