It’s been a few days now since the end of 2016’s Diá de Muertos. What does that mean? Literally, in English, it means “Day of the Dead.” Figuratively, well, there’s a really nice farm upstate where your childhood dogs, outdated iPhones, and eventually you, dear mortal coils, all end up. Yes, we’re talking about the big D—no, not the Death Star—simply death itself. And what better way to think about death than with a giant skeleton pencil that draws itself into oblivion?
The skele-pencil in the above video and image gallery below (which vibrated our way via Gizmodo), is the work of San Francisco-based artist Agelio Batle. It’s titled Ash Dancer and is essentially a life-sized graphite skeleton that makes drawings of itself on a vibrating table covered in Vellum paper (parchment made of calf skin or other animals).
It’s hard to top the description of the installation given by the Jack Fischer Gallery—where Ash Dancer will be shown November 5-December 29—so here is just a tiny taste of the philosophical musings that the skele-pencil inspires:
“For Ash Dancer, its graphite has made a long journey. First, exhumed from a deep, million-year hibernation, it is incarnated briefly into a skeleton body. Through its eroding dance, it will perish once again, while simultaneously resurrecting its body through the resulting ‘figure’ drawings.”
Ash Dancer will be the featured artwork in Batle’s solo show at the Fischer Gallery (titled murmur / tremble), which will also include sculptures and paintings by the artist—a few of which you can check out here. There’s no word on cost of entry, but contemplation of your own demise is certainly free.
What do you think about this graphite skeleton pencil that literally draws itself to death? Did it remind you of any particular pop-culture skeletons, like maybe Skeletor or that angel-skeleton thing from The Simpsons episode, “Lisa the Skeptic”? Pull all of your skeletons out of their respective closets in the comments below!