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Artist Duo Kahn + Selesnick's Carnival at the "End of World" Tarot Deck

Artfully updating the divination deck while maintaining the nomenclature and numbering

by Josh Rubin
on 19 October 2017

For lovers of art or believers in the the art of divination, Kahn + Selesnick's Carnival at the End of World Tarot Deck brings a contemporary spin to the mystic experience. The artistic duo, based in Hudson, New York, kept by both the Rider-Waite-Smith nomenclature and numbering for the major arcana. They have, however, updated the iconography (through eccentric new pictorial representations that truly invoke the idea of a carnival at the end of the world) and even the interpretative values of each card. This was done to reflect changes in our current world times. As they call out, the tarot has long been updated across the centuries.

Both artists created sketches of the cards' characters, before painting the drawings with watercolor and gouache. They finished the complete set of 78 paintings in July of this year. The works were scanned. Typography was added. And 200 sets of cards were hand-produced for the artists' galleries. Here, they've made a set for the general public—in essence granting those interested in their art an opportunity to take it home. As these are no ordinary decks, they each feature three extra cards, each representing a character drawn from Kahn + Selesnick's Truppe Fledermaus stories. The world of tarot is magical and mystical, but this particular set gets an additional boost from the imaginations of two masterful artists.

As the campaign has already reached its funding goal, you can secure a Carnival at the End of World Tarot Deck for $30 with delivery expected in March 2018.

Images courtesy of Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick

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