Skulls are not the first image one would bring up when thinking of a lamp or decorative item for the home. However, this is exactly what design duo Blackman Cruz have come up with in regards to contemporary and unusual home decorative art and rather frightening lighting. In this post I will briefly touch on an unusual item that caught my interest when browsing through the collection by Adam Blackman and David Cruz on their website which provides information on the design company they founded in 1993.
The Carnival Skull is an item that was once part of the famous Carnivale which took place in villages, towns and cities across Italy and still does to this day. The Carnivale, which include the much loved Martedi Grasso in Venice, begin in mid-January and continue until Ash Wednesday. It’s not until the last three days of the events that the festivities and colorful pageants really enter their zenith. During this time, music, dancing, parades and the famous mask masquerades are everywhere.
This Carnivale skull was used as a mounted fire breathing decoration which gave the terrifying vision of a ghostly skull with flames pouring out of its grinning mouth. It’s most likely from the Martedi Grasso carnival where it would have been paraded along with harlequins, symbols of the 12 months and a representation of ‘King Carnival’. The King is always a straw model of a fat man who is eating and drinking and generally scoffing his face before the period of Lent. At midnight, the body is burned in the Piazza San Marco.
If you love Italian traditions and European carnivals, plus have a weak spot for skulls (perhaps you were a Goth as a kid), then you will probably find this former fire-breathing carnival skull to your liking. Perhaps it will find a home on your bedroom bedside table or by the hearth in the sitting room. Have a scout around their entire collection which you can find here: Blackman Cruz Design Collection.