John Dunivant Reveals The Last Tarot Card The Fools Out Now

John Dunivant is a painter and multimedia artist working out of Detroit, Michigan. One of his largest artistic accomplishments—Theatre Bizarre—violated an untold number of laws and gave attendants an immersive Halloween masquerade experience that was unrivaled anywhere in the world before being shut down by the city in 2010.  To be blunt it is the Greatest Masquerade on Earth. To be honest it’s unlike anything else. Read on for the 1xRUN Thru with  John Dunivant discussing his latest print “The Twins” which drops 3/19 at 12pm EST.

1xRUN Thru Interview
The Fools by John Dunivant
1xRun: When was The Fools drawn/created?
John Dunivant:  The fall of 2010
1xRun: What was it originally created for?
John Dunivant:  It was the completion of an intentionally partial tarot card set, an enigmatic leave-behind used as a way of bringing awareness to Theatre Bizarre.  If you found them and looked deeper into it’s origins, it would lead you to a carnival that existed only in the aether and only for one night.
1xRun: Where did the Fools sit in the context of Theatre Bizarre?
John Dunivant:  The folks on the Fools card represent a few different things. The central head, Edgar, is the vessel in which this world takes place and all those around him are his manifestations.  If you look directly at the figures they may appear to be real, yet in the peripheral, they are revealed to be man-made and constructed. Props cobbled together from lifeless forms.  Actually, all of the images in this tarot series are in some ways meant to be dioramas, mythological displays in Edgar’s natural history museum.  The 4-legged woman, like the Twins in the previous print, represent the physical desires of the fool, by his literal addition of more body parts.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
John Dunivant:  The Fool has usually been interpreted as a spirit in search of experience. He represents “the childlike ability to tune into the inner workings of the world” so it seemed appropriate that Edgar would be the fool.  It was originally drawn in pencil and is reproduced as a giclee with a hand-pulled, gold screen print.
1xRun: How long  did this piece take?
John Dunivant:  About a week and a half.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
John Dunivant: Kris Kuksi would be amazing to work with, I’d love to build miniature worlds with him and I can only imagine what his studio must be like. Or build a pirate ship/raft with Swoon. I’d love to do a stop-motion film with Wes Anderson or an unwieldy puppet-show with Julie Taymor. They both communicate so well through such confident and precise applications of their craft, and they make it look effortless. I would want to work with them, if only to witness their process first-hand.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
John Dunivant: George Melies, that would be incredible. His films were like magical paintings come to life.  John Singer Sargent, although all I would be able to do is sit back and watch him paint.  I’d like to do at least one large collaborative piece with Dr. Suess, Hieronymus Bosch, Goya, P.T. Barnum and Lux Interior.  That might just make a big mess, but it sure would be fun!
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
John Dunivant: The music that I choose to work to depends greatly on the type of work that I’m making. Although often, no matter what the subject matter, I love to paint to the Hedwig and the Angry Inch soundtrack.  Either the original live production or the film, I don’t care. Or anything by The Cramps or The Jesus and Mary Chain.

1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
John Dunivant:  It’s made with love and a few drops of goat’s blood.
1xRun: Why should  people buy The Fools?
John Dunivant:   If they enjoy it.  I don’t know.  It’s the one that I would buy, it’s my favorite out of this series.
1xRun: Describe this RUN in one gut reaction word.
John Dunivant:  Leggy.

Run #00197 // Apr 03, 2012 - Apr 09, 2012 - The Fools by John Dunivant

Click to See Photos of Theatre Bizarre