24 April 2012

Hexen 2.0 Tarot by Suzanne Treister

All that's called tarot is not a tarot (or is it?)
At this very moment the Science Museum in London is holding an interesting exhibition by the artiste Suzanne Treister what is it about, what the theme? Well hold on to your seatbelt cause here comes the description from the artist herself: "HEXEN 2.0 looks into histories of scientific research behind government programmes of mass control, investigating parallel histories of countercultural and grass roots movements. HEXEN 2.0 charts, within a framework of post-WWII U.S. governmental and military imperatives, the coming together of scientific and social sciences through the development of cybernetics, the history of the internet, the rise of Web 2.0 and increased intelligence gathering, and implications for the future of new systems of societal manipulation towards a control society" if you're asking WHAT right now when reading that, don't be ashamed, everyone has that reaction.. I think...

These concepts/idea's/analyses/... are condensed and projected into heavy extremely busy and filled to the maximum images that look like alchemical drawings with influences from 60ies underground poster- & music album art, as seen through the the world of the occult, the supernatural, conspiracies or just plain bizarre views on modern (post WWII) world history, with some exceptions that go a bit furted back into time .

Personally I cant see it as a Tarot deck, or at least what conventionally and traditionally is seen as one, for me it's an art project under the form of a social/trans-social/analysis/visualisation (insert far-out-word-here) something that is titled tarot.It has 78 cards divided into 22 majors 4 suits 4 court cards so yes the basic structure is there but the links and correlations to what they mean are gone and replaced by the artist personal world-view. But then any deck containing Aldous Huxley as The Fool, Cybernetics as The Wheel of Fortune,  Nikola Tasla as the King of  wands and Hackers as 6 of Wands is bound to at least be worthy of some attention and curiosity. 

All the works are also published in the HEXEN 2.0 book and HEXEN2.0 Tarot both by Black Dog Publishing


23 April 2012

I Tarocchi Dell' Amore Sacro E Profano by Franco Coletti

Ah love, no one can live without it, merely survive and it inspires us to create great works of art. This deck is not only inspired by the artist for his beloved muse but has love as a theme.A true work of art and testimonial to Love.

The decks title roughly translates to 'Tarot of love the sacred and  the profane', from the highest to the most corporeal, all aspects are linked to the 78 cards in the tarot and this in a style that combines both aspects, all at the same time dreamy elegant and earthly sensitive. The artist also linked each card and image to parts of songs or literary excepts to evoke the correct mood and kind of love best fitting each arcana.
The king and queen of Pentacles are depicting 2 special friends and inspirations in the Artist's life the queen being Morena Poltronieri from the wonderful Museo dei Tarocchi and the king is Osvaldo Menegazzi from Il Meneghello

This wonderful tarot comes in a very very limited edition of only 12decks, you can check the availability and order directly from Ill Meneghello by email.

There is also a 'follow-up' deck to this one you can find here

19 April 2012

The Sacred India Tarot by Rohit Arya & Jane Adams

India is one of those countries that despite being depicted in deck or it's mythology being used in many decks has produced very little tarot decks itself,  this one is only the second one I have that is produced there.
All cards where stripped down to their archetypes, transported from western esoteric thoughts and concepts into India and dressed up in it's still living mythology (with elements drawn from Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism to form a coherent system

It is a 82 cards deck consisting of the classic 78 + 2 versions of both death and the world and also 2 'blessing cards' Blessings of Ganesha & Blessings of Blessings of Babaji. The style is directly identifiable as Indian, not the opulent rich golden one but the contemporary swirling vibrant version of it.


The majors depict the Indian Gods & Goddesses while the minors are retelling the epic stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, the life of the Buddha and the love story between Shiva and Parvati, poured in a narrative form best suiting for each suit. All information you need and even more about the cards and what they stand for, their background and meaning is found in the well-written 350 pages handbook.

17 April 2012

Silent Tarot by Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle

One of my big soft-spots when it comes to tarot are decks who have been created by collage, and I recently obtained one from this Etsy shop.The tarot has a limited print run of only 125 decks  so be quick to grab one if you like it too.

I'd describe the style as (neo)Victorian & romantic, a multi-media project combining old images with various techniques to obtain 78 little works of art that would fit everyone with a love for decks that have a well balanced nostalgia vibe.
Despite being well filled up, but in a good way, these cards do not feel heavy or overwhelming, partly thanks to it's larger than standard size, partly to the whole way they are made up. Balancing out the busy fronts of the cards, the backs have a soothing, classy red fleur-de-lys pattern.
Opulent could be a perfectly fitting term to describe them.

Fitting the whole theme and look the suits are named Sticks, Coins, Swords & Hearts adding to the turn of the previous century, gipsy (perhaps even a bit decadent) feeling.

13 April 2012

Tarot Droga by Barbara Marzena Mirewicz-Czumaczenko

There are interesting decks to be found on eBay that do not seem to pop up elsewhere (or at least not at locations one can easily find/aces) like this Polish tarot for example.The first print-run of the deck is limited to 100 decks (but not a numbered edition)

 From what I was able to gather (all info thus far is in polish, and translation programs are not that good for that language, so you end up with some chaotic gibberish at the end adding nothing to your knowledge) the artist engraved and painted each 'card' in the period between 2005-2010 upon clay tablets.

The title of the deck is the road, and by lying out the deck in the correct way in 2 rows you can see this road connecting each major arcana, as can be seen on her website. In the minors this road-system is abandoned in stead each suits has his own characteristic colour and backgrounds are formed by digitally mixing engraved clay images and images of fire, water, sky and stone for the cards Ace through 10, the court cards are in feeling and technique similar to the majors. Once the 'cards' where ready they where photographed and treated to give this coherent and natural earthy feeling deck.

10 April 2012

Floriography Tarot Deck by Ana Haydeé Linares

At the moment there is a revival it seems, of all things vintage or new with a vintage-feel, a trend that also can be felt in tarotdecks.

This collage deck mixes images from various ethnic and periods in black and white, sepia or 'age-discoloured' replacing the peoples heads with flowers, herbs, plants, and trees to represent their characteristics the whole set against decorative non-scenic backgrounds and surrounded by different coloured borders. The minors are pip cards and the suits are renamed to: Woody Trees (Wands); Sunflowers (Pentacles); Birds of Paradise Flowers (Swords) & Tulips (Cups)

Although the artist has put lots of efforts into the deck and into the research to link the best fitting plants to each card the whole looks elegant and airy, nothing heavy but 78 cards of elegance and nostalgia.

You can get the deck from the artist's Etsy webshop or her website and yes she is also on FaceBook.

05 April 2012

Le Tarot Des Archétypes by Bernard Chaumeil

The last few years and even decade the  tarot has left the traditional places where he was to be found and entered a more mainstream phase of its existence, one of these are the Jungian (based) therapies.

The creator of this deck who approaches the person as a whole taking into account the psyche and  body but also the social dimension of the person has created this deck as a way to help us identify problems and linked to them strengths and so proposing a solution to mend those.

All 22 cards in this colourful and semi (or in some cards almost entirely abstract) deck have been renamed and received 2 'titles', representing polarised archetypal dynamics, 22 human resources linked to 22 problems, called archetypes. These 22 archetypes correspond relatively well to the classic tarot archetypes or some of their aspects.

04 April 2012

Tarocchi di Sigismondo by Umberto Giovannini

Tarot's come in all kinds and sizes from the minuscule to the HUGE, this one fits in the second category, size- and prize-wise, but is was so worth it.The Italian artist printmaker Umberto Giovannini, who has a special love for the polychrome woodcut technique used this love and his mastery over it to create 22 large (20x14 cm) tarot artworks.

The deck was inspired by, and took his name from Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, an 15th century Italian nobleman and patron of the arts, a special print representing him was added to the 22 tarot prints.(shown here on the left)

The whole 'deck' was showcased during an art exhibition at the "Palazzo Gambalunga" in Rimini (Italy) during April 2004 and printed in an edition of 99 decks (XV in Roman Numbers for the artist, 9 with letters for libraries and contributors and 75 copies of the normal edition), beautifully displayed in precious dark green passe-partouts bordered with gold. and bound into a book encased in a green box, truly an exceptional production and work of art and craftsmanship.