Cluj-Napoca based ILLUSTRART Association has released a new initiative, giving a new life to tarot cards. The works of forty Romanian illustrators have been condensed into a unique deck of tarot cards. Each artist interprets traditional playing cards in a personal, playful, or sometimes strange way. The result is a collection of miniature art, which is addressed to art lovers, card players, and those passionate about divination.

Initially, the project started with ‘Măscărici‘ a few years ago, which was born from ‘the meeting between the memory of communist-era shedding-type card games and the love for traditional costumes.‘ The pack consisted of 26 pairs and a Măscărici – trickster card. Every pair was made by a different illustrator and had a uniquely artistic take on the folk costumes of various nations. But in the spring of 2020, ILLUSTRART knew it was time for a new project.

The deck is divided into two sections: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana consisting of 22 and 52 cards, respectively. In a statement, project coordinator József Vass mentioned, “Our goal was not only to make a beautifully illustrated tarot deck; we also placed a great emphasis on usage. The pack can be used as a traditional tarot card, but if you remove the cards of the Major Arcana from the deck, you can also play with the rest of the cards, for example, poker or other well-known card games.”

The project was coordinated by József Vass with the support of Jazz in the Park through the Fondul Jazz in the Park campaign.

The tarot deck is available in limited quantities in the shops of Cărturești in Romania and other local bookstores, including Bookstory and Gaudeamus. You can see all illustrations here!

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