Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2013

Susana Castro
Vanitas
Susana Castro
Vanitas

For my final thesis project I developed a brand of t-shirts titled Vanitas. The development of the thesis began with an investigation of how masks, both literal and abstract, can alter the meaning of an image. I was interested in how masking both hides and reveals information simultaneously. I continued this exploration through collaging, patterning and manipulating symbols of the macabre on top of editorial pictures and contemporary advertising. The end result of this investigation became the theme of personification and beautification of death. My final collection explores different ways of representing death and translating the macabre into a compilation of beautiful images. Some of my designs accomplish this by showcasing imagery masked with symbolism of mortality. Others do so by utilizing the symbols of death and destruction as veiled patterns. I silkscreened the collection in order to give each shirt a unique look and to transform the digital rendition into a raw version.

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