Art is never one to reside within societal norms yet some art still has the power to stand out and shock and surprise us. Catacomb Culture is an artist and retailer of artificial human bone sculptures. While there are many companies out there that use skulls product as their theme Catacomb Culture appears to be leading the way in how realistic these pieces look.
The artist sells all sorts of human bone products with his range including human skulls, bone wall decor, skeleton lamps & chandeliers, horror apparel and clothing, scary barware, grim home interiors, luxury Halloween decorations, goth lifestyle accessories and more.
Jeremy Ciliberto is the man behind the skull and he makes each piece by hand. Ciliberto says that he recognizes how poorly our culture deals with death. The Latin saying “Memento More” summarises his view of the world very well. It means “Remember that you must die”. Ciliberto feels that this is something most people try and avoid in their day to day life. While no one wants to die it should not be something we fear because it is inevitable. He says that the majority of people are in some form of denial of death and hope that it will never come to them. Instead, he thinks we should be more welcoming to death as it can help to avoid terrible anxiety when the time comes. His art aims to restore a balance to our culture by presenting our mortality in more obvious ways.
The most popular product that Ciliberto produces is the skull bowl. These bowls look incredibly realistic but are perfectly functioning cereal bowls. While these are his best seller he is also passionate about larger or custom pieces. He makes large lamps and chandeliers that have over 50 bones in each. Even if you do choose the bowl you can select the color as “experimental” to allow Ciliberto to try new things with your skull so that you end up with something truly unique for your collection.
Ciliberto first showed his pieces at the Oddities & Curiosities Exposition. The exposition is run by Michelle and Tony Cozzaglio and is based in Denver, Colorado, and Tulsa in Oklahoma. The show is now so successful that it operates 22 shows a year across a wide net of cities. Each show brings in an average of 8,000 people showing that there is a huge market for the strange today. Ciliberto is one of many stores that has made it big from the exposition who tries to find the incredible among the obscure.
Although a well run profitable business, the Cozzaglios say that space is about providing somewhere for people to come and feel welcome. There is no judgment and weird things are the norm. It is a great place to come, meet, and make new friends. The show is full of live acts like human pincushions, sword swallowers, and fire dancers. It is a craft show and a functioning museum as it contains some amazing collections that date back many years.
The success of shows like these is fantastic proof that people are more willing to indulge in their unique tastes and hobbies than ever before. For those interested in attending or taking part in the 22 city show there is plenty more information on the festival website; odditiesandcuriosities.com.
Whether Ciliberto’s products will succeed in restoring the balance in how we look at death or simply make your breakfast more Instagram worthy as you munch down on some Cornflakes in a skull, we aren’t sure. What we are sure of is that these initiatives are fantastic for local communities and it is incredible to see people successfully following their passion.