Daniel Martin Diaz and the Lowbrow Tarot

I started out researching some posters I’ve collected from shows at various Austin theaters over the past few months and then I got to riffing through google and chanced into something interesting, the Lowbrow Tarot project, a showcase for 23 illustrators and designers. What particularly caught my eye was the card back designed by Daniel Martin Diaz. It is exactly the kind of retro graphic arts style design which I particularly like. Diaz’ other work is also worth a look. It’s morbid, weird and mystical and full of arcane symbolism. It’s fun stuff.

The Lowbrow Tarot is interesting in its own right as well. It’s a great idea to bring a bunch of very different artists together in a thematically unified showcase and the Tarot provides excellent subject matter for them to work with. The quality of the art is uneven. I really like some of the artists, particularly Aunia Kahn, Laurie Lipton, Heather Watts and Claudia Drake. Others, like Scott Brooks and Sas Christian, I find pretty unappealing. But there are enough artists involved that there’s bound to be something which will appeal to anyone, and it’s interesting to see how a group of very different artists interpret the timeless ideas of the Major Arcana.

This past weekend the illustrations from the Lowbrow Tarot iopened as an exhibit at La Luz de Jesus gallery in Los Angeles where it will run through the end of the month. After that it will be released as a book and eventually in actual card format sometime early next year. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, check out the exhibit. If not, the website is a somewhat inferior alternative, but worth some time to look over.

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