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baba-prague  baba-prague is offline
Join Date: 24 Nov 2002
Location: Prague, wonderful Prague, Czech Republic
Posts: 7,626

Hi Demonesse,

Thanks for pitching in here though I may have misunderstood, but I think Bob was saying roughly the opposite? (Bob, correct me if this isn't right please).

I would say myself (but all critique welcome!) that this deck really won't seem at all like "Tarot of Prague with cats" once you can see the whole thing - it is a very different sort of project. I would say it is quite a sharp contrast in terms of mood, technique and imagery (in fact we rather worried that people would expect something MORE like ToP - and I'd guess we will get some criticism along those lines too).

But of course the imagery does draw on some of the same period as Tarot of Prague, though of course there is virtually no post-Baroque in this new one (we've also used less sgraffito and perhaps fewer of the very serious symbolic sites in favour of the really colourful and lavish material - also many more interiors). In terms of colour there may indeed be similarities - we do really like strong colour - not primaries, but lots of rich colour and light and visual contrast. Our primary visual inspiration was the film "Amadeus" - though of course for those who have seen the film you can't put those amazing elaborate wigs on cats! (we tried - it looked terrible).

But also, I suppose the real point is that as a two-person studio (baba studio) we do have our own style, and we want to go on developing that - as Bob said, it's rather in the way that any artist develops their own style. It's what we ARE. So while we think this new project is quite a big step in another direction (and it's required whole new techniques), we won't do this deck in a whole new style - simply because it wouldn't be us. Fortunately there are other cats tarots to provide a range of styles - which is great. Collectors can choose - or be like me and have both :-)

Plain border? Well, it might be very good in its own way, I agree, but this deck IS Baroque lol. You know what I mean, the over-the-topness IS what Baroque was partly about (and part of where the beauty comes from).
Whoops - I'm not saying no to these comments - and thank-you again for them - but just explaining a bit more about our approach. We've actually talked a lot about the borders, but the one you are seeing is the seventh or eighth version (major version that is, there was lots of tweaking too) and we feel it's largely right now. It is taken from a real Rennaissance "stumpwork" cabinet - silk on bone, and it's a beautiful thing in it's own right.

But please remember that the deck is all about gorgeousness and decoration and unashamed pleasure in thing like embroidery, old paintings, costumes, fabrics - and the diversity of cats. It won't appeal to anyone who wants something plainer or modernist - it is really for people who love fantasy and magic-realism.
But there are other tarots out there that fill that less decorative and more naturalistic niche really very well - and they are great in their different way too. Ours isn't better or worse, it's just, well... I suppose it's just "us" really.

But keep the comments coming - it's all very useful you know :-)

Oh - a slightly blurry close-up of the border - so you can see how beautiful it is. The stitches are TINY - almost invisible to the naked eye. No, sorry, we really do have to use this - it's crying out to be used and it's gorgeous (and in the original it framed tiny detailed pictures painted on each miniature drawer and door of the cupboard so using it again in this manner is correct in one sense).


edited to add - Macavity if you knew how many close-ups of cat paws we have! I can so relate to this photo. One lovely silver tabby in the cat's home here kept following us round and gently (and obviously very helpfully) touching the lens with her paw JUST as we pressed the button...
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