One of the things I find fascinating about the medieval game of tarot is that it can tell us a lot about how differently people saw the world back then. For example, on the star card, there are seven small stars and a big bright one. In reality these were not stars at all but the moon, sun and five known planets. The big star in the middle of the card represented a significant astronomical event such as a comet or supernova. Of course a modern astronomer would see a supernova as nothing more than a star exploding according to the laws of physics but in the middle ages such an event was seen as a powerful omen. It's a really interesting example of how two people can see the same thing yet interpret it in vastly different ways depending on their culture and their expectations.
I began the Vision Tarot in 1993 using old fashioned film cameras and lots of sculptural elements such as the small scale models that make up many of the backgrounds. In the days before advanced CGI this gave the work a totally unique look and feel. There had been one or two photographic tarots before, though these were either collages that bore little resemblance to the traditional images, or just actors in costumes with no real context. So the Vision was and indeed remains, the world's first photographically real traditional tarot.
Vision was published in 1995 by Carta Mundi - who make most of the worlds cards. It has been a hot seller ever since and is now running into its fourth or fifth edition. But success does not always equate to riches! Unfortunately, the costs of creating this deck were staggering. It used hundreds of rolls of film at over $10 each, multiple scale models, props and costumes -most of which had to be made perfect because back then digital image manipulation was very rudimentary. There were dozens of models, all of whom had to be paid and the project consumed almost two years of my life - so don't even begin to factor in an hourly rate! However - it is unique, published and successful and that's not something that can be said of every art project.
"A unique and beautiful deck in which the traditional images of the tarot have been carefully re-created with photographic realism. The Vision Tarot is a deck designed for the Twenty-First century, yet it preserves the spirit of the Fifteenth."-The Tarot Chest (UK)
"With it's slightly surrealistic art- almost real life and cgi combined- this is the most beautiful deck I have ever seen. I have 4 decks, and of them all, this is my favorite. A must for anyone who collects these cards. Beautiful art, great imagery, I'd recommend this one to anyone in a heartbeat!" - Amazon.com
The Vision Tarot is available at many retailers worldwide, including: