Art and Ashes 101
Art in Ashes in the News
A New Trend
Art and Memorialization
Studying Oil Painting
New Memorial Traditions
The Art of Death Asian Style
Making Diamonds from Ashes
Modern Art and Funerals
The Cremation Process
Modern Art and Funerals
Art in Ashes Breaking Tradition
With the rise of the Art in Ashes idea comes the question: What roles does art play in today’s modern funerals. The answer is interesting.
Modern Art, except in rare instances involving, say, a memorial service for an artist, is not typically a significant part of traditional modern funerals in the Western World. This is gradually changing, with the advent of new memorial products such as Art in Ashes and with increase in sales of cremation urns fashioned as small Modern Art statues. But, in general, Modern Art today is still, at best, a minor part of funerals. Those who like to live their lives on the cutting edge, then, should be particularly interested in including Modern Art in their memorial services. (And, fortunately, plenty of products can be found to help with that. So much so, in fact, that Modern Art is sure to, eventually, become the trend at funerals rather than the exception.)
All that said, here is a look at a couple of the more intriguing modern instances in which Modern Art and Funerals have mixed.
First, there is the French rock band called “Modern Funeral Art.” This band has received international acclaim for its unique style of dark, heavy “gothic” music, and there are many reports that devoted fans have asked that the band’s music be played during their funerals. Most of band’s fans being young adults, this group has not yet accounted for an overwhelming number of funerals to date, but, one suspects that, as the decades pass, “Modern Funeral Art” will certainly be more and more commonly heard at funerals.
Then there is the internationally famous Italian painter Carlo Carra’s well known Modern Art painting that is currently on display (as of August 2007) at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. This piece called “The Funeral of Anarchist Galli” is an intriguing depiction of the famous 1904 funeral of political activist Angelo Galli, who was killed by Italian police during a year of worker protests and general strikes. The funeral itself turned violent when police, attempting to keep the event from turning into a political protest, barred mourning anarchists from following pallbearers into the cemetery after the main service. The activist resisted, and, as Carra – who was at the funeral – noted: “I saw the horses becoming restive, and clubs and lances clashing, so that it seemed to me that at any moment the corpse would fall to the ground and be trampled by the horses.” The violence subsided in the nick of time, however, but the horrific images of the day live on indefinitely in Carra’s famous painting. The painting has earned international acclaim as part of a private collection for the past 40 years, and now that it is on display in the MOMA is sure to garner even more fame. It seems likely, as the painting’s stature rises, that modern political activists who have spent large portions of their lives in conflict with police and other officials will wish this painting (or at least a print of it) to be displayed at their own funerals.