My Evil Flare is a self portrait in which my head sits on the neck and shoulders of an anatomical drawing illustrating organs, glands, muscles, a portion of the heart, vertebrae, and rib cage. There are “petals” in purples, reds, and corals resting on the shoulders and left cheek. The upper portion of my head is obscured by a thick grey cloud, and a burst of light in purples and reds surrounding a black hole filled with smaller, round bursts of green glowing light takes the place of my left eye. The background consists of interlocking gears in neon green.
As the title suggests, this image is a representation of some of the symptoms I experience during a fibromyalgia flare. Once again, my body is not my own. The petals are loci of pain, including minor Temporomandibular Joint Pain (TMJ). The starburst covering my left eye is a cluster headache, and the thick cloud is representative of “fibro fog”. The gears in the background appear to be stuck, as I feel as if my “mental gears” are similarly “stuck”. Like many fibromyalgia sufferers, I try to smile my way through it.
Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the triduum of Hallowtide: All Hallows’ Eve, Hallowmas, and All Souls’ Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world. In Brazil Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain there are festivals and parades and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.
The skeletal bride and groom pose for their wedding portrait in front of a wall with a marigold motif, signifying the importance of marigolds in honoring the dead. (Additionally, the bride wears a crown of marigolds atop her veil.) The painted face designs are reminiscent of traditional Dias de los Muertos sugar skull decorations.