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The art of the Autopsy: Martha Pacheco

Martha Pacheco is inspired by death. She draws and paints in a fantastical way what happens to our bodies when we lay on the steel slab of the morgue table. This Guadalajara artist gained access to the morgue to capture the process of breaking down the human body. Pacheco’s work is vibrant when it’s done in color, and somber when it’s done in greyscale. I don’t personally find it to be gore, despite the exposed organs and profuse bleeding wounds. Instead, I see these as images of release; some of the corpses appear to be smiling or sleeping. Pacheco paints death as peace, a final exhale, and a surrendering to fate. Enjoy this gallery of her work below.

In her beginnings, Martha Pacheco would cut out from the tabloid images of bodies from road accidents or autopsies for inspiration. Afterwards, she gained access to the morgue, the Servicio Médico Forense, and there she started documenting with photographs unclaimed bodies, and then she would produce paintings and drawings.

Images via Dr. Tenge

Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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