The Fake American Tarot

The Fake American Tarot

We’ve all seen attempts to produce a pop-culture tarot deck over the years, and it would be fair to say that most of them are misguided – at best. They usually show no real understanding of the cards – merely setting the standard Rider-Waite imagery in a new context, and rarely using the pop-cultural imagery to advance any new information. Searches for Buffy tarot, Dr Who tarot or Simpsons tarot produce depressingly similar results. My own attempts to produce a Marx Brothers tarot some years ago (think about it: four brothers, thirteen films: it’s a shoe-in!) faltered as I realised I was saying nothing new

So when something new started appearing on my Facebook timeline a few weeks back, one card at a time, I took notice. Digital collages that take their source materials from across the modern milieu – imagery and text – overlaid on the traditional 22 cards of the major arcana in ways that genuinely stimulate the observer towards a fresh new understanding of this old, old book. The fact that they break with all traditions of how a tarot deck ‘should’ look – no decorative borders, no cartouche for the titles, no uniformity at all – and the somewhat wicked sense of humour, add immensely to the appeal. They recall, to me at least, the covers of old pulp paperbacks and some of the more outré graphic novels.

As the series neared it’s end I messaged the artist with a request to showcase his creation here on Disinfo, which was happily agreed to. They want no credit, wishing only to be known by the initials MM, and offer these as a gift to you all.

MM is considering moving on to the minor arcana, which I’d love to see. If it happens I’ll bring it to y’all right here…

Click on each image for a full size version:

Title Card 0 The Fool 1 The Magician 2 The High Priestess

3 The Empress 4 The Emperor 5 The Hierophant 6 The Lovers

7 The Chariot 8 Strength 9 The Hermit 10 La Rove De Fortune

11 The Hanged Man 12 Justice 13 Death 14 Temperance

15 The Devil 16 The Tower 17 La Estrella 18 Mother Moon

19 The Sun 20 Judgement 21 The World




Born in the fifties, Londoner, cyclist (exenger), collector of 7" vinyl, DJ (dance-floor & radio), lover of malt whisky, slaphead, mystic, atheist, Dadaoist, thief, liar, cheat.