Body Art meets fashion at Mega Procesión de las Catrinas 2017

The event will take place on Sunday, October 22 in Mexico City among flowers, makeup, music, and dances
21/10/2017
19:47
EL UNIVERSAL in English/Sofía Danis
Mexico City
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Weeks prior to Mexico's beloved tradition, the Day of the Dead (Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico on November 1 and 2), Mega Procesión de las Catrinas 2017 (2017 Catrinas Mega Procession) will take place on Sunday, October 22 in Mexico City among flowers, makeup, music, and dances.

In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL in English, Jessica Esquivias, producer of Mega Procesión de las Catrinas 2017, Jossy Javier, couturier and ambassador to this year's edition, and Dandy Show, makeup artist adhered to the event since its inception 4 years ago, commented on how Mega Procesión de las Catrinas 2017 preserves Mexican traditions.

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Jessica Esquivias (left), Jossy Javier (middle), and Dandy Show (right) - Photo: Sofia Danis/EL UNIVERSAL in English

Mega Procesión de las Catrinas 2017 is organized by Mega Body Paint México, a Mexican artistic organization aimed at showcasing body art for younger generations. The procession seeks to rescue Mexico's ancestral tradition of the Day of the Dead and revolves around the Catrina (Mexico's Grande Dame of Death) as a symbol of both acceptance and mockery towards Death.

With an unquestionable entrepreneurial aura, Jessica Esquivias, president of Mega Body Paint México, opens the interview by saying “body art or body paint is a technique that demands the use of living canvases” emphasizing the respect from the makeup artist towards the canvases, the process and, above all, the models.

Jessica shares how Mega Body Paint México started on May 8, 2014, in the celebration of the International Women's Day. “The event took place at the Doctores quarter in the Cuauhtémoc borough, it gathered 96 models and 73 make up artists,” with a focus on the value and the respect for the human body.

Mega Body Paint México is defined as an artistic, cultural and educational family concerned with social causes aiming to erase the ghoulish distortion towards body paint while impulsing young talents.

Body art explores the use of the human body as a vehicle for expression with the possibility to convey social criticism, as Jessy notes, Mega Body Paint México “presents body art both as a vehicle for artistic expression and for social criticism.”

In 2014, Mega Body Paint México organized a protest against the statements issued by José María Martínez, Head of the Family Commission at the time, who declared that the only acceptable family structure should be integrated by the figure of a mother, a father and their offspring, thus neglecting families structured otherwise.

That same year, Mega Body Paint México started Mega Procesión de las Catrinas, an event that revolves around The Calavera Catrina, Mexico's Grande Dame of Death, a creation by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada in 1912, aiming to preserve Mexican traditions.

For this year’s edition, Dandy Show, makeup artist at Mega Procesión de las Catrinas 2017 has embodied the Grande Dame of Death in the confident and glamorous canvas of Jossy Javier, couturier and ambassador to this year's edition, “In the end, it's all about character construction, today we’ve created a Catrina through face and cleavage painting,” says the makeup artist.

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Dandy Show and Jossy Javier - Photo: Sofia Danis/EL UNIVERSAL in English

While admiring his creation, Dandy Show concludes “as Mexicans we mock Death, but as an artist to represent Death beautifully can become an enriching experience, and as I see it, Death is overjoyed with our Mexican depiction of her.”

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Jossy Javier - Photo: Sofia Danis/EL UNIVERSAL in English

The depiction of Death and glamour come together in the person of this year’s ambassador, Jossy Javier, a Mexican couturier who seeks to “intertwine and highlight Mexican traditions, but mainly, to portray how Mexican design can be worn on each and every occasion.”

Regarding the event, she points out, “during the Mega Procesión de las Catrinas 2017, we are dressing non-other than the Catrina and I feel really proud to show my designs. These are 100% Mexican designs that portray the fashion, culture, and, above all, the extraordinary Mexican traditions.”

On a solemn note, Jessy mentions the role of Mega Procesión de las Catrinas 2017 in the framework of Mexico’s devastating earthquakes,“ people wondered if we would cancel the event out of respect, after the devastating 7.1-quake that hit Mexico on September 19. We overcame a crisis, but that cannot hold us back, we cannot live in fear. Mexican people are not like that,” inviting all attendees to bring a flower or offering, as a remembrance of those who are no longer among us.

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Flowers laid on the floor - Photo: Sarah Motherwell/EFE

Experience Mega Procesión de las Catrinas 2017 tomorrow, Sunday 22 in Mexico City at 11:00 in the morning at the Angel of Independence, in Paseo de la Reforma!

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