Gorgeously Creepy Photographs of the Bejeweled Skulls of Saints

Today, Thames & Hudson publishes Paul Koudounaris’ Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the CatacombsThese skeletons were installed by the Catholic church in towns across Europe after an outbreak of literal iconoclasm (i.e., destruction of religious art) in the 16th century. The Church knew that most of the skeletons, which it dug up from the catacombs under Rome, weren’t actually saints, but for, you know, a 16th-century version of fun, each one was decorated as though it were. Koudounaris set out a few years ago to photograph all the “catacomb saints” still kicking around. Which leaves us with this beautiful collection of images of jewel-draped bones, just in time for Halloween. Or, you know, your adult goth mood board on Pinterest. … Read More

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Skull-Shaped Bookshelf Sculptures by James Hopkins

In case you haven’t noticed, here at Flavorpill we have kind of a thing for innovative and interesting bookshelves, not to mention collage. James Hopkins, whose cool sculptures we spotted over at Laughing Squid, combines the two in these skull-ptures (sorry) crafted out of books, bookshelves, and other household items. We especially like the deconstructed look of his pieces Prosperity & Decay and Consumption & Consequence, which seem to make a comment on the way our materialistic lifestyles are destined to do us in. But also they’re cool to look at. Click through to check out Hopkins’ skull-shaped bookshelf sculpture series, and then be sure to head on over to his website to check out even more of his work. … Read More

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Andy Warhol, Lenin, and Lennon Skull Caricatures

Romanian artist Istvan Laszlo’s portraits might be free of fleshy features but they’re sure full of personality! The Anatomy of Skulls series imagines what’s “inside” a few of history’s greatest idols, artists, and villains. Laszlo’s skeletal fantasy exaggerates Andy Warhol’s hairline, round John Lennon’s eye sockets into the shape of his iconic glasses, and give Vladimir Lenin a determined furrowing of the bone-forehead. Is this an ode to pseudoscience of phrenology? Is it accurate? Is it morbid? You decide. Click through our gallery of all of the artist’s skulls — famous, infamous, and a bit funny. … Read More

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30 Culturally Relevant Skulls

Halloween may be last weekend’s news, but the season of spooky holidays isn’t over yet. Today, November 2nd, is Dia de los Muertos, the day when Mexican families construct altars and share feasts of traditional foods in celebration of the dead. One of the holiday’s most recognizable icons is the painted sugar skull. In tribute to our neighbors to the south — and the many Mexican-Americans who observe the holiday in our country — we present our very own roundup of 30 culturally relevant skulls, from Jolly Roger to Yorick to Damien Hirst. … Read More

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Design Porn: A Collection of Tasteful Skulls

While you can spot them in the celebrated work of famous visual artists like Dali, Picasso, Mapplethorpe, the use of skulls in the design world is admittedly more divisive. For some, they are a symbol that brings to mind pirate ships or poisonous substances; for others, tacky biker tattoos and trucker hats. But love ’em or hate ’em, the fact is that skulls have been used to symbolize death (and oddly, immortality) since ancient times, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. With Halloween and the Day of the Dead both right around the corner, we’ve decided to round up some of our favorite skull-related items for your viewing pleasure. Check them out, and as always, leave links to anything we’ve missed in the comments. … Read More

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