I didn’t know what to expect at a gallery show about death and funerals. There were flowers, check. There was a casket, check. There was Dr. Dre and Drake playing in the background?
As you walk into the gallery you are greeted with a macabre display of an open casket to place flowers. Attendees were asked to wear funeral attire or their favorite band shirt. This created a surreal crowd of people that looked one part death at a funeral and one part Lollapalooza. It was beautiful to behold.
It was a scene that only Australian artist, Sonny Day of We Buy Your Kids could create. Days before the show Mondo released a note from Sonny that said: “The idea of this show is to celebrate life and music, so wear your heart on your t-shirt sleeve as it were.”
As you walked through the gallery Sonny’s famously colorful artwork lined the walls. Each wall was assigned a side one through four, a record of Sonny’s life. Each piece of art was paired with a track listing. The playlist of songs was shared on a Spotify playlist, listen here. People were encouraged to create their own funeral playlist and share it with the hashtag #alltheflowersatmyfuneral.
At the show, Sonny admitted that there were more songs than art because “narrowing it down was hard, it was like trying to pick your favorite child.”
If the gallery was the funeral, then the courtyard was the wake. Mondo’s Record Label Manager Mo Shafeek, DJ’d throughout the night. People were laughing as they drank beer and listened to music. I asked Sonny what he thought of the wake.
“This is what a wake should be. People shouldn’t just be sad when someone dies. They should celebrate the life that person had. To me, it’s the best way to remember someone.”
I walked away from the show thinking about life, death and music. Creating a mental playlist in my head of the music I would want played at my funeral. Sonny’s right, it’s hard to choose. But that’s life.
You can check out All the Flowers at My Funeral at the Mondo Gallery until July 2nd. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss.