Appearing a bit creepy, much like humanized versions of animated characters, these playing cards created by photographer Christian Tagliavini inject a bizarre quality into this otherwise ordinary source for amusement. Created in 2012 and simply called Carte or ‘playing cards’ in Italian, Tagliavini’s collection uses models in costumes that correspond to card characters.
He makes use of theatrical stage make-up to simulate the appearance of original and early card deck versions. All the distinctive characters are represented: Jacks, Queens, Jokers and the all powerful Ace as well as some stylish interpretations like an Egyptian inspired Queen.
What you get is an odd but nonetheless imaginative collection of something we are all familiar with. Tagliavini has been known to dabble in different time periods. A recent project he did was a renaissance inspired photo series called 1503.
Tagliavini displays an obvious penchant for bygone eras, celebrating them through his collections, while adding a personal touch to these classic forms. It is important to note that while he puts his spin on these images, it is never to the point of bastardizing the original.
With his professional roots in architecture and design, Christian Tagliavini finds himself in his element, reinventing classical themes. He has taken on photography full time now, and his meticulous work ethic brings several years to a project before completion, just as in Carte.
Tagliavini immerses himself in every step of the creative and production process, treating each project more as a master artisan, and the results speak for themselves. The work is intricately detailed and flawlessly executed, giving them much credibility as fine art, and not just a whimsical photos. A short biographical write-up is offered in his website.
“Swiss-Italian, born in 1971, educated in Italy and Switzerland, where he lives and works as a photographer. This provides him the perfect frame and background to invent, create and totally produce images that blend fine arts and craftsmanship.
No, not simply images, as Christian Tagliavini loves designing stories with open endings (requiring observer’s complicity) on unexplored themes or unusual concepts, featuring uncommon people with their lives and their thoughts made visible. This rich and exciting collision of circumstances results in photos as a final product.”
I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.