glorious excess (born) at JANM – memento mori

May 21, 2008

from wikipedia:


Memento mori is a Latin phrase that may be translated as “Remember that you are mortal,” “Remember you will die,” “Remember that you must die,” or “Remember your death”. It names a genre of artistic creations that vary widely from one another, but which all share the same purpose, which is to remind people of their own mortality.

In ancient Rome, the phrase is said to have been used on the occasions when a Roman general was parading through the streets of Rome during the victory celebration known as a triumph. Standing behind the victorious general was a slave, and he had the task of reminding the general that, though he was up on the peak today, tomorrow was another day. The servant did this by telling the general that he should remember that he was mortal: “Memento mori.” It is also possible that the servant said, rather, “Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento!”: “Look behind you! Remember that you are but a man!”, as noted in Tertullian in his Apologeticus.[1]

The concept, in the art of classical antiquity, was more frequently embodied in the phrase carpe diem, or “seize the day.” This carries echoes of the admonishment to “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die”, the language of which originates in Isaiah 22:13: “But look! you feast and celebrate, you slaughter oxen and butcher sheep, You eat meat and drink wine: ‘Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!'”[2] The thought appears elsewhere in Roman literature: Horace’s Odes include the well known line Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero pulsanda tellus. (Now is the time to drink, now the time to dance footloose upon the earth.) Horace goes on to explain that now is the time because there will be no drinking or dancing in the afterlife, a classic example of the carpe diem theme. This theme is repeated in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, stanza XXXV: ‘…”While you live, / “Drink!—for, once dead, you never shall return.”‘ And the popular theme of “Timor mortis conturbat me, quilla inferno nulla est redemptio”…The Fear Of Death Torments Me Because In Hell There Is No Redemption.

click for the full wikipedia entry




  1. Ezza on May 23, 2008 at 5:59 am

    that is the perfect description of one of my paintings, that still isnt finished. thanx for the inpiration!!! 🙂

  2. Jaclyn on May 23, 2008 at 2:51 am

    Real cool! I’ve known it long before but in parts, and now when all these things are collected together it looks awesome. And that we should live every day as our last day, i’ve learnt from my r.i.p dog. When you watch how your dog enjoys every single moment of life, every single movement she can make, every single time she meets you at the door when you come home from work, every single piece of food though she never starved, you start thinking that your attitude to life is kinda wrong

  3. axrinekey on May 23, 2008 at 12:36 am

    This is… wow…

    I think you’re influencing me to love art more…

  4. analoggirl on May 22, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    And the anticipation builds… I’m loving the subject material so far…

  5. lynndarwinharris on May 22, 2008 at 10:14 pm


  6. zimminator on May 22, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    wow that was cool to read….memento mori….i gotta remember that lol

  7. burningdaylight on May 22, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    ok, sorry if this sounds like me being an ass, but i have to add this:

    “tomorrow, we dine in hell!!!” – from 300 (this is SPARTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    it seems to work….well, in my mind lol.

  8. Xavi_cardenas on May 22, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    yeah you gotta live your life as is if it’s your last day on earth
    even if you pass out drinking!!!! yay!!! xD

  9. Ssophia on May 22, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Good topic,and how optimistic…but that’s true.I guess your art show will be amazing(maybe).It depends only of yourself,if you really want glorious win,use improvisations!

  10. SteppinRazor on May 22, 2008 at 9:09 am

    WOW! Now I REALLY wish I lived out west. I’m pretty far out here in Toronto (for now) so it’d be pretty much impossible to come to your art show 😦
    This is a pretty intruiging theme. I’m fascinated with this type of thing so I guess I’ll just have to make do with whatever is posted online to feed my morbid curiosity ( i realize that wasn’t a very good pun)

  11. _NoRa_ on May 22, 2008 at 5:53 am

    Here is somethin that has nothin 2 do with your artshow! I was looking 4 pictures on google when I found this.. …I thought you might be interested…or anyone elsehere..anyways I gotta warn ya…the pictures are pretty intense…. (P.S. nobody should forget his history,I haven’t..)

  12. maria on May 22, 2008 at 5:20 am

    You know that you are the most intelligente guy that has ever existed on earth) It’s cat’s pajamas) In a nutshell, the info is really cool and is very useful to be learn by heart or at least to be the external material so that we all can broaden our skills)
    Yeah, there are different ways of translating this phrase) But I consider yours taken from wiki to be the most appropriate one)
    Have a very good day))))))))))))))))

  13. Kira on May 22, 2008 at 4:31 am

    This entry has reminded that I’m still undecided in a major. It’s probabaly going to be history, classics, or an English/literature major. If I go with classics I’ll have to change my language from French to Latin. I have plenty of time, but I’m a bit obsessive and neurotic. None of this really has anything to do with what you posted.

  14. Reem on May 22, 2008 at 3:46 am

    there goes the teasing again:p lol no worries though its only more interesting then, i can’t wait to see the new collection,im sure it’s gonna be great,it sounds really interesting so i guess i’ll just have to wait and see the master pieces! Good luck with it all,im sure youl be alright,youl do great,we’ll always support you:) heh,thanks for the post mike,have a good day.

  15. AS_21 on May 22, 2008 at 2:38 am

    you know…? I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! you’re making everyone so curious


  16. crystalrussianla on May 22, 2008 at 2:28 am

    mike your a artest so what do you see in this picture do you see the message in this
    painting to me this is art this has meaning more meaning then anythig

    can you see whats missing when you see it find out the message love ya godbless

  17. crystalrussianla on May 21, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    mike i hope your not planing on painting a picture of the devil
    if not thats great if you r good luck to you and godbless cuz that’s leting something in to your life
    that duzin need to be there

    cuz i seen the site to were you got all that stuff that MEMENTO MORI from and i didnt see anything good there

    well cant wait to see what your up to babe hope its nothing to do with evil love ya godbless

  18. nillp on May 21, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    this is going to be the best art show ever. 😀

  19. asianotter on May 21, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    love these little hints and tidbits. can’t wait for Glorious Excess (born)! making my travel arrangements right now. hoping i can make it back to JANM for Glorious Excess (dies) in early 2009! thanks for sharing!

  20. YourConscience on May 21, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    I am SO ready for the art show… o.0

  21. Madlen on May 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    i love lathin…i’m actually thinking of learning it because my father has some books and stuff that could help me…great idea anyway….memento mori

  22. lp_fm_fan on May 21, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Alexis: is Mike gonna understand that?….

    well ANYWAYS. niceee, really can’t wait till the art show. ^^

  23. Alexis on May 21, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Mike! Ich finde deine Seite und die wechselnden Themen mit denen du uns immer auf dem laufenden hälst echt klasse. Es macht immer spaß hier vorbei zu schauen auch wenn ich mich manchmal eigentlich immer frage “Was hat das zu bedeuten” oder “Was will er damit sagen”… kann auch daran liegen das mein Englisch einfach zu schlecht ist…deswegen tut es mir leid das ich hier auf Deutsch schreibe. Aber mal so neben bei wegen den DC Schuhen bring sie doch auch mal in Deutschland raus es würde hier viele Fans glücklich machen.
    Liebe Grüße

  24. vanessa_6487 on May 21, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Wow the consept is really deep… ur art is going to be AMAZING… n is true u have to live life to the fullest because I never know what could happen tomorrow… it sad to know some people waste their lifes in stupid things…. thnkx a lot sharing ;]…. love u n take…

    Att. Vanessa

  25. Helene on May 21, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    btw, nice pictures. and sorry if insulted you somehow, i didnt mean to be so .. mean =)
    love ya ;) have a nice day!

  26. Helene on May 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Mike is like teacher =) i would like to have Mike to my history teacher, because it sucks when your mother is teacher.. your history teacher and your art teacher xD. Mike would you like to be my teacher? you can draw and you can find interesting things at wikipedia (actualy i think that almost everyone can do that, only my granny cant do that, because she even doesnt know how to turn computer on), so you would be exellent teacher =) think about that, when youre older and you don´t write music anymore, you could be teacher.. *imagines that* muhahhaa ;)

  27. navee on May 21, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    you just keep us wondering little bastard cant wait to see glorious excess (born) by the way thanx fo r the n.e.r.d. video i love them!!

  28. Sammy on May 21, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    thats really interesting !!!

  29. Kostas on May 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    You’re deep dude…. blah blah blah… you’re a favourite….. I hope there’s a place for me up there…. or i’ll have to kill myself…. :’-(
    Take Care. (some dude from greece)

  30. Curiosa on May 21, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Mike just wanted to specify that I meant if the Spurs beat the Lakers for the Western title, not just tonights game.
    :)~ I say Spurs in 7.

  31. rockermeg on May 21, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Ingenious!!! XD

    Your art is so symbolic-I LOVE IT!!!

    That’s really interesting!


  32. merve on May 21, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    i guess,your next favourite is wikipedia ,right??by the way,Glorious Excess (born) is getting interesting!!is your new art
    just about symbols??i guess,we will see some more skulls:D:D anyway,’remember, you will die’ so,eat,drink,live…etc,shortly just live for yourself!!!i think its not completely true.i should think about it!:Dtnx mike for posting something intersting:) ((omg,how many times i did write -ing in last sentence??? 😀 ))

  33. cuz on May 21, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    😀 another intriguing post… can’t wait for the shows – art show, vilnius show and brno show 😀 see you :DDD

  34. PinkWater3 on May 21, 2008 at 11:56 am

    i just looked a the pics you just posted in your photos, and i LOVE what i’m seeing. i really can’t wait to see some more new art from you. it really seems like it’s going to be different, a lot darker. and i love dark stuff believe me.

  35. bec on May 21, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Another educational post, though slightly on the morbid side – have you considered eating some chocolate?

  36. Sonia_LP on May 21, 2008 at 11:32 am

    I read somewhere in a link that there is also glorious excess (dies) exibition next year is that correct? I would lov to see it but alas!. I just posted on what is art blog that had glorious excess (born) ran into mid aug i would of seen it as myselk & my kid sis drop in from the UK then!!!.
    take care and see u in milton keynes I CAN’T WAIT.XXXXXXXXXXX

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