The Influential Visual Blogger Brings Mexican Day of the Dead to Life
Internet enigma Yimmy Yayo curates a selection of found images to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican national holiday where families gather to erect garishly ghoulish altars and keep vigil for the spirits of their beloved. "I've always loved Charon's Obol; the use of coins in burial for the ferryman," says the Sydney-based Yayo of traditional Day of the Dead rituals. "Everything even close to this has been lost. It's sad the only form of mythology we have left is religion." A provocative stream of juxtaposed images mixing reportage photography with erotic close-ups, surreal landscapes and slapstick GIFs, Yimmy’s Yayo attracts almost two million hits a month, but until a profile on The New York Times’ T Magazine earlier this year, Yayo’s identity was the stuff of blogosphere myth. Currently collaborating editorially with magazines like Oyster and recently launched men's magazine Port, Yayo found time to answer some questions on real life and resurrection.
What motivates you to keep posting images on your site?
It's a mix of things: inquisitiveness, interest and, after four years, habit.
Describe a real-life image that moved you recently.
I was flying back from New York and woke up somewhere over the Midwest. Barren, burnt red mountains and a violent coquelicot sunset made for a spectacular view.
Your blog inspires thousands of readers everyday. Who is your muse?
I haven't found one yet, but I'm always looking. Inspiration can come from any emotion, both negative and positive. My ex-girlfriend is a perfect example: beautiful, intelligent, inspiring and crazy, she drove me insane in every way, both good and bad. Unfortunately, the idea of a muse has become clouded and representative of little more than a beautiful woman or sexual object. Other qualities such as intelligence, inquisition and defiance aren't accounted for as much as they should be.
Which five historical figures would you resurrect for the day?
It would be overwhelming to just sit and listen to Winston Churchill speak. A day of drinking and talking of women with Charles Bukowski. A day spent taking photographs in Robert Frank or Henri Cartier-Bresson’s respective eras. I’d like to be a fly on the wall in J. A. M. Whistler’s art studio while he worked on “Nocturne in Black and Gold”. A night with Marilyn Monroe.