Tarot of the Deviant Moon was created using various forms of photographic manipulation. Each card starts with a complete drawing. The work is scanned into the computer where I apply various photographic textures. Nineteenth century tombstones provide most of the clothes worn by the citizens of the Deviant Moon. I bent, twisted, and reformed my photos to become capes, boots, hats and trim. One of the best parts of creating the deck was “hunting” for specific textures as I respectfully tiptoed around the graveyards of eastern Long Island, N.Y. Background buildings were created with photographs I took from a local abandoned insane asylum. Rotted doors, windows and walls became castles, factories and cities.
My character stylization was influenced by ancient Greek art, yet I gave them a slightly abstracted twist. I chose to draw them in a flat, playing card style, rendering them with heavy light and shadows. The figures were then placed in a shallow background.
As I worked, different styles emerged, and before long the characters evolved into the moon-faced beings seen in the cards.
Symbolism for the deck comes from childhood dreams and imagination that carried itself into my adult world. I have always seen the melancholy side of life and have sought to express my visions through the characters I create. The moon has always been a psychic friend to me. As the sentinel of the night, it feeds my dreams and casts a strange glow on the way I see the colors of reality.
Nothing has had a greater influence over my art then the tarot itself. I first discovered the tarot at the age of nine. I was captivated by the unique characters I saw on each card and studied the artwork intensely. My favorites were the old 19th century and medieval decks. While my classmates where drawing what children normally do, I was busy making my own little pictures of the fool or the magician. Over the years I have made many attempts to create my own deck, but never completed more then a few cards each time. I held the ideas of my early random creations and revitalized them here in the Deviant Moon.
Physically, this deck has taken over three years to complete, although it is at least thirty years in the making. It is not only a testament to my art, but a record of my life.
One of my main sources of inspiration was PILGRIM STATE ASYLUM. Its looming structures have always intrigued me, and were known since childhood to me as “Boogie-Man Island”. During the creation of the deck, I would jog over to the buildings, taking numerous photos of doors, windows, walls, pipes, or anything of interest. I would then reform these objects into whatever I needed, such as buildings or fashion accessories for the citizens of the Deviant Moon.
No photoshoot would be complete without exploring the INSIDE! This beat ANY haunted house!
I am also fortunate enough to live near many 18th century graveyards. I have been incorporating tombstone blends into my work long before the Deviant Moon deck, as they are an endless source of textures. For the deck, almost everything in it is made up of graveyard elements. Robes, hats, boots, even body parts.