The Skully Mambo II print is a great culmination of illustration coming together after a couple years of tinkering. The original Skully Mambo released a year earlier had much of the same elements, but was added to and refined for this year. This 5 color screen print captures its original inspiration very well.
What prompts an artist to create a work such as this? For this image, I am really glad that James shared a link to the old timey Disney animation silly symphony - the skeleton dance 1929 disney short
The video is an early animation of the Halloween theme, and after watching the video you can see many of the elements in the work by James. Elements like the church and the more unique dance moves of the skeletons have been reproduced, creating a light but appropriately themed image celebrating the dead.
There are two skeletons in the background, one appears to be holding another by the ankles, I missed this in my first viewing, I couldn’t figure out what they were doing or why James included this odd part. After watching the video again, I had an aha moment as I saw one skeleton ride another skeleton like a pogo stick. Where did the Disney animators get that inspiration?
This is a 5 color screen print, yet there are many more layers to the image than the five colors. The starry night in the shadow of the church pulls you into outer space, the ghost amebos flying around, and the rich layering of textures all comes together in this celebratory image. I missed the window to purchase this print, but am looking forward to seeing more from James R. Eads