Like numerous men and women, photographer Nicolas Bruno is enthralled by tarot cards. Having interacted with the mysterious cards at a younger age, the deck of divination ongoing to pique his desire into adulthood. Now, Bruno’s most recent series, titled The Somnia Tarot, depicts the entire 78-card deck and considers the symbology at the rear of the alluring images that are typically applied to forecast the future.
Bruno started his tarot card pictures by referring to his portfolio of surreal imagery. His preceding get the job done dealt with his practical experience with snooze paralysis as properly as dream journals that have eventually cultivated a visual language detailing his sophisticated romantic relationship with a great night’s relaxation. This conceptual strategy to his images authorized for an effortless changeover into recreating the traditional Rider Waite tarot deck. “Because my Snooze Paralysis collection and the traditional tarot deal with the subconscious and acutely aware head,” he tells My Modern Met, “creating fluid parallels in between the two bodies of work was a seamless method.”
The Somnia Tarot is now on show at the Haven Gallery in Northport, New York, until finally March 21, 2021. In addition to the exhibition, Bruno has fashioned his images into his own deck of cards that will be available for pre-purchase before long.
We spoke much more with Bruno about this series–including the logistics of developing it entirely during the coronavirus. Scroll down for our special interview.
What was the inspiration for this job?
My mission for The Somnia Tarot was to reinterpret the entirety of the typical Rider Waite tarot deck as a result of conceptual images, sculpture, and costume structure. By way of session of my desire journals, I created my own get on the meanings behind each and every card whilst remaining true to the intentions behind the common tarot. From primary sketch to remaining photograph, I poured all of my resourceful strength into this venture over the previous calendar year. To my awareness, this is 1 of the 1st representations of the entire tarot through conceptual pictures.
Where did your desire in tarot cards appear from?
When I was a little one, I would often pay a visit to my grandmother’s house and participate in with all of the interesting antique product trains in her basement. The basement experienced a storage area, and I stumbled throughout my great-grandmother’s tarot deck. I would often take pleasure in wanting at the playing cards right up until a single working day my grandmother caught me with them and hid them high up on the storage space shelf.
This was my initially conversation with tarot cards, and that memory of the mysterious playing cards stuck with me to this day. Through substantial school and university, I was uncovered to the tarot all over again by my pals. I loved the style of imagery that it portrayed. I experienced frequently imagined of recreating a person or two cards in my have model, but it wasn’t until finally quarantine that I observed a grand chance to produce the overall series.
How would you say the coronavirus quarantine informed your images?
When quarantine commenced, the bulk of artwork world business enterprise came to a grinding halt. The upcoming was uncertain for anyone, and I used the first few weeks pondering the options of what could take place in a number of month’s time. I knew that I required to keep on producing in buy to preserve my spirits up. There was no better time to problem myself and make the best use of time although the globe was on pause.
Each individual working day, I woke up and set 100% of my endeavours into creating this collection. This venture forced me to work quicker than I normally do, but supplying myself this problem opened my brain to factors that I never ever assumed I could do. I developed an effective process of building props and costumes at the starting of the 7 days and then shooting a number of visuals at the finish of the week. This authorized me to be regular, creating a lot more successfully, and completing the final picture on the great timeline for an exhibition.
This is an bold undertaking with 78 photographs. Logistically, how did you develop this collection?
I expended an whole month studying the tarot meanings and the Jungian psychology assessment of each and every card. During the exploration, I stored a massive sketchpad and started drawing out concepts for each and every piece. I consulted my aspiration journal to convey to the tales of every single impression by means of the figures that I see inside of my snooze paralysis experiences.
Right after I completed my last sketches for every piece, I commenced making props and costumes. I planned each individual shoot day to consist of up to three photographs. Even if one of the concepts unsuccessful, I would nonetheless have photographs to come property with. All of the male characters in the series are self-portraits, and the feminine figures are both my sister, girlfriend, or a near close friend. Restricting the types to myself and near people created the project productive and COVID-harmless.
How extensive did it consider in general?
My setting up and scheduling permitted me to end the final graphic in early December 2020. This was the premier and most demanding undertaking that I have at any time taken on.
Is there 1 card that is specially unforgettable for you?
The most unforgettable picture that I shot was The Tower. This was one particular of the very first visuals that I shot for the series. I became a character with a burning dollhouse on his back, all when becoming in the wake of the freezing ocean in early March. This was a really hard graphic to shoot, ranging from developing the dollhouse alone, to acquiring it burning and tied to my back in the frigid climate. My images normally places me into complicated situations, and I normally sense liberated after finishing every single complicated principle. This was an strategy that experienced been living in my aspiration journal for a even though, and it ultimately observed its spot within just this selection of illustrations or photos.
Your prior bodies of work have dealt with your knowledge with rest (paralysis and retaining a aspiration journal). What variety of parallels can viewers uncover with your tarot cards and your slumber-focused sequence?
As a result of this collection, the people and symbols in my Rest Paralysis imagery notify the tale of each individual tarot card. Figures like The Aged Hag and The Shrouded Person make their appearances, when my desire symbols of murky marshlands and tattered rope help connect advanced strategies. Viewers who are common with my Slumber Paralysis collection will right away select up on common ideas that I have woven into the tarot imagery. Due to the fact my Rest Paralysis collection and the vintage tarot deal with the unconscious and aware thoughts, making fluid parallels concerning the two bodies of do the job was a seamless course of action.
What can viewers assume when they see your exhibition?
I hope to immerse my viewers in the tale of the traditional tarot in an solely new way. Even though presenting a new glimpse into the entire world that I make by means of my conceptual pictures, I am also energized to open up the interesting tales of the tarot to new and expert lovers. There are so quite a few archetypes, lifetime classes, and clever connections within just tarot, and I hope my viewers can use my series to dive further into the creative imagination that lies at the rear of these mysterious playing cards.
What’s on the horizon for you? Anything at all fascinating you can notify us about?
My solo exhibition The Somnia Tarot at Haven Gallery, NY will be on screen until March 21st, where all 78 pieces are being exhibited. I will be opening preorders for tarot decks of the sequence in late March on somniatarot.com, along with a hardcover ebook. There will be a new video clip documentary on my artwork and course of action coming out in late April. All of my upcoming initiatives and parts will be shared on my Instagram.