The nail in the ampersand

How’s this for an opulent piece of typographic art. I’ll admit that I can’t quite decipher the meaning of it, the semiotics are a little over my head.
Any suggestions?

New York’s political magazine The New Republic approached me to design a trademark ampersand for them. I accepted and created this mighty marble-and-gold rendition of a snake nailed to a sinking skull, coiling into the “Amperxandt” form. A lot of symbolism going on here.


Carved by Jean de La Huerta and Antoine Le Moiturier between 1443 and 1470, the unique devotional figures, known as “mourners,” were commissioned for the elaborate Gothic tomb of the second Duke of Burgundy. Crafted with astonishing detail, the alabaster sculptures exemplify some of the most important artistic innovations of the late Middle Ages. 

Here you can view all 40 of them, in 360 and 3D!