Looking back, that first gallery show was symbolic.
“I watched average gallery visitors react to my art in surprise, horror, and intrigue,” he says. “Several approached me to talk about the emotions my art guided them to explore, as well as their relationships with death, dying, and the dead.”
Meet Jeremy Ciliberto, the 31-year-old owner of Catacomb Culture.
“I create functional home decor out of hyperrealistic human bone sculptures,” says the Scranton, PA, native. “It’s a sculpture, mold and casting technique.”
Inspired by the Latin saying “Memento Mori,” which translates into “Remember that you must die,” Ciliberto says our contemporary culture fosters us with a denial of death, which creates deep-rooted end-of-life anxieties.
“I create my art to re-balance culture, allowing individuals to live in harmony with one’s own mortality, resulting in a more fulfilling and conscious life,” he says. “Since I make each bone by hand, each sculpture means a lot to me. With that said, my human bone chandeliers and XL lamps typically require 50-plus bones and always exceed my expectations.”
His first oddity art market allowed him to meet the dark art and oddity community. “The markets invite us all to find comfort and support in each other’s individuality,” he says. “They are the best places to meet like-minded people, artists, collectors, and unique individuals.”
The piece he finds most irreplaceable? “My food-safe human skull bowl,” he says. “Collectors of these pieces share photos of their meals online which makes any meal much more exciting.”
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Generally I offer “off white”, “custom colors”, and “experimental” styles of my food safe skull bowls. I made this “experimental” style bowl a dark brown then applied gold leaf to the outside and finished by sealing it all together. When collectors select the experimental style it allows me to try new techniques and explore artistic visions. *Allllssssooo I’ve been developing an inexpensive alternative, coming soon. 💀 order yours at CatacombCulture.com 💀 figure @casscutsandcolors . lipstick @necromancycosmetica . #skullbowl #catacombculture #macabre
Other irreplaceable pieces are the custom orders he’s made. “From masks to chandeliers, each custom piece has a special vision that I bring to life with the help of my collector,” he says. “My custom fabrication process allows the collector and I to develop a personal connection through my art, as they are with me through the entire creation process.”
“And I’m always open to taking custom requests for sculptures and general inquiries,” he says.
But first, he looks ahead to the next Oddities & Curiosities Expo where he can truly showcase his creations alongside more unique and unusual vendors.
“I’m looking forward to meeting supporters, vendor friends, collectors, the local community, and talk art,” he says.
Find him online at www.CatacombCulture.com
By Ryan Clark, contributor for Ripleys.com and host of Ripley’s Believe It or Notcast