Mexico City - 'La Catrina,' is the subject of a new book by Fine Art Photographer Jonathan Klip. Set to be released in October, Entre Catrinas ("Between Catrinas"), features photographs of 100 renowned Mexican women personifying one of the most recognizable symbols of Mexico's Day of the Dead celebrations.
You have surely seen La Catrina in various contexts because in recent years she has become very popular around the world. But the Skeleton Lady in her elegant broad-brimmed hat first appeared in Mexico in the 1900s when cartoonist Jose Guadalupe Posada created her as a satirical engraving to remind people to be themselves and to stop trying to be something that they weren't.
Drawing her as a skeleton was also Posada's way of rejecting social stratification. Artfully representing both Death herself, and Mexico's high-society ladies, La Catrina is an affirmation of equality beneath the fancy outfit. "Death is democratic. At the end, regardless of whether you are white, dark, rich, or poor, we all end up as skeletons," he said at the time.
For Jonathan Klip, the elegant and classy Skeleton Lady symbolizes both the unique and exceptional relationship that Mexicans have with death, and the empowerment of women. "Like a lady, death is a seductive presence that you play and dance with every day... I was thinking that strong Mexican women typify this concept, which gave me the idea for this book."
Made in Mexico, the photographer defines 'Between Catrinas' as "An homage to death, a celebration of life, and a tribute to women."
To create the art book, Klip asked 100 Mexican women, all of whom are recognized for their successful careers in sports, entertainment, journalism, philanthropy, media production, and other professions, to be part of this important project.
Klip said he took around 10 thousand photographs of the 100 women (80-100 photos of each) dressed as Catrina. "...to make each picture unique, I tried to capture the personality of each of these remarkable women, and I played with their makeup and costumes, poses and expressions to exemplify the essence of "La Catrina" in them all."
"Entre Catrinas" will have a print run of 3,000 copies and, in addition to extolling this Mexican tradition and image, the book has another purpose - 100 percent of the book's sales will be donated to Make a Wish Mexico, which is part of the international foundation that brings joy to critically ill children around the world.
The book's launch party will be held at a public venue somewhere in Mexico sometime next month. The event's location and the book's points of sale will soon be announced via social networks, including the JonathanKlipPhotographer and Make a Wish Mexico Facebook pages.