Tombstone Art. Def.: Tombstone art is is a photographic combination of the techniques of Cristo and Jeanne-Claude, traditional African burial customs, literary criticism, collage, and performance art, where the gravesite is the canvas for an artistic interpretation of the poet’s life, death, and collected works. The place of burial becomes the setting for a collage, or still life, that is arranged using volumes of poetry, relics related to the poet, and the natural elements found at the gravesite. It can be an historical re-creation or interpretation of a poet’s life or death, which is captured on print or video images, and is often a spontaneous improvisation instigated by the surroundings of the gravesite.
Sometimes it becomes a re-arrangemenet of the words and letters on a tombstone, so that the words suggest new or focused meanings. It is also influenced by the history of stone carving and quarrying, the poetry of Heaven, Death, elegy and Hell, the rhetoric of epitaphs, and the deathograpies of poets.