Artist Jennifer May Reiland has released the Diana Tarot cards. (Photo by Syrie Moskowitz)
Reiland's Diana Tarot depicts scenes from Princess Diana's life. (Courtesy Jennifer May Reiland)
The Chariot (Courtesy Jennifer May Reiland)
The Diana Tarot is a fully functional 78-card tarot deck themed around Princess Diana. (Photo by Syrie Moskowitz)
The Hanged Man (Courtesy Jennifer May Reiland)
Death (Courtesy Jennifer May Reiland)
The Devil (Courtesy Jennifer May Reiland)
5 of Swords (Courtesy Jennifer May Reiland)
8 of Cups (Courtesy Jennifer May Reiland)
(Courtesy Jennifer May Reiland)
The Sun (Courtesy Jennifer May Reiland)
King of Wands (Courtesy Jennifer May Reiland)
The Diana Tarot (Courtesy Jennifer May Reiland)
A blend of “tragedy, beauty, victimhood, sexuality and saintliness.” That’s how watercolor painter Jennifer May Reiland describes the illustrious subject of her newest work of art: Princess Diana.
The Houston-born, Brooklyn-based artist tells Diana’s story through what may perhaps be an unusual medium. The Diana Tarot is a fully functional tarot card deck, with 78 original card designs based around traditional tarot imagery and fantastical images from the life of Princess Diana.
The designs are inspired by historical Italian suited tarot decks, most notably the Rider-Waite Tarot deck and the Tarot of Marseilles. Each card is a work of art in itself, made from high-quality scans of Reiland’s watercolor paintings.
Through Reiland’s designs, traditional tarot imagery is reimagined as scenes from Diana Spencer’s life: her youth, her marriage, her life in the public eye, even her death. The Chariot, which represents determination and forward motion, shows Diana and Prince Charles announcing their engagement on television. The Hermit, which stands for solitude and listening to one’s inner voice, shows Diana sitting by herself on Dodi’s yacht. Iconic figures from tarot are preserved as well: The Devil card shows Diana crouched over a toilet, a nod to her struggle with bulimia, as a devil with wings and horns rises from the bowl.
“I’ve been fascinated with Diana since seeing her picture on all the grocery store tabloid covers when I was a kid and witnessing my mom‘s intense reaction to her death,” Reiland says. “I was first inspired to make this deck when I learned Diana was a frequenter of psychics, and my mind began to connect the two ideas.”
This former intern of PaperCity Magazine is a graduate of the Kinder High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and New York’s The Cooper Union, Ryland is an accomplished visual artist who has shown her work at The Drawing Center in New York City, Lawndale Art Center in Houston and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris. She is currently an artist in residence at the Queens Museum in New York. To Reiland, The Diana Tarot, much like the rest of her art, is about telling a story.
“The Diana Tarot is about a merging of the story of Diana’s life and the fantasies that the media created about her in the minds of ordinary people,” Reiland says in a statement. “Her fame became so immense that reality and fantasy are hard to separate now in her story.”
Each deck comes in a beautiful cardboard box, customized by Reiland, with explanatory booklets about the meaning behind each card and with links to access more exclusive digital content.
The Diana Tarot is available at JenniferMayReiland.com at an exclusive presale price of $38.25 until August 15.