Graphic Design

LOVE, 2020. Spray paint on Whole Foods bag. 11 × 8.5 in.
Circles, 2020. Book. 11 × 8.5 in.

Laura King, professor of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri, Columbia, studied life and death from an economical perspective, as stocks. Her research showed that death represents the scarcity of life, and understanding life as a rare commodity enhances existence. After having been deeply compelled by a death and immortality course I took last spring, I became interested in having my thesis encourage its audience to appreciate their existence.

Many religions celebrate death through the process of elaborate rituals that honor one’s passing. After learning about these diverse rituals, I became interested in creating rituals of my own through artistic practices that are incredibly precise and time consuming, similar to those practiced during funerals.

Street art is an unofficial, independent, and temporary visual art created in public locations for public visibility. For me, it is an accessible art form that combines typography, collage, illustration, and color theory without boundaries, fueling a raw creativity unique to its practice.

I find street art and death to be synonymous in their ephemerality and anonymity, for both exist temporarily and become anonymous after their decay. I am also fascinated by the permanence of the physical objects that are left behind in the wake of death that directly contrast the temporary nature of mortality.

In order to examine these relationships, I will explore design in death and how people choose to be remembered through what they leave behind. This includes the examination of gravestones, funeral practices, clothes designed to be buried in, and examples of memento mori. I will then respond to these more permanent physical symbols of death through the precise practice of printmaking inspired by the temporary visual language of street art, comparing and contrasting the dichotomy of permanence and evanescence following a ritual-based process.