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My Modern Met: Photographer Creates His Own 78-Card Tarot Deck Inspired by His Sleep Paralysis [Interview]

Like many people, photographer Nicolas Bruno is enthralled by tarot cards. Having interacted with the mysterious cards at a young age, the deck of divination continued to pique his interest into adulthood. Now, Bruno’s latest series, titled The Somnia Tarot, depicts the entire 78-card deck and considers the symbology behind the alluring images that are often used to predict the future.

Bruno began his tarot card photography by referring to his portfolio of surreal imagery. His previous work dealt with his experience with sleep paralysis as well as dream journals that have ultimately cultivated a visual language detailing his complicated relationship with a good night's rest. This conceptual approach to his photographs allowed for an easy transition into recreating the classic Rider Waite tarot deck. “Because my Sleep Paralysis series and the classic tarot deal with the subconscious and conscious mind,” he tells My Modern Met, “creating fluid parallels between the two bodies of work was a seamless process.”

The Somnia Tarot is now on display at the Haven Gallery in Northport, New York, until March 21, 2021. In addition to the exhibition, Bruno has fashioned his photographs into his own deck of cards that will be available for pre-order.

We spoke more with Bruno about this series–including the logistics of creating it entirely during the coronavirus. Scroll down for our exclusive interview.

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