"During high school in the mid-1980s, my childhood friend Jimmy Lopez was getting involved with magic and inadvertently turned me on to the world of tarot cards. I would accompany him to Isis - a bookshop in Denver specializing in magic.
While he would be chatting with the owner about crystals and spells. I was captivated by the artwork on the various boxes of tarot cards sitting on the bookshelves and eventually bought a deck. I spent my junior and senior years learning how to read the cards. At seventeen, I lied to a tattoo shop about my age and got the Ace of Swords card on my shoulder!
Since then, I have remained fascinated by the imagery, the ability to use the cards for introspection, and the overall spiritual connection with the tarot. Nearly six months after releasing my book, Y Con Tu Espíritu: Palabras y Muertitos (Wake Up! Music, 2020) - a volume of calavera (skeleton) paintings & linocuts, and writings, I had a vision during a bike ride that it was time to create my own deck. With urgency, I managed to obsessively flesh out all 78-cards. All the images are hand-drawn/painted with high-quality acrylic inks on acid-free bristol paper.
The Calaca Tarot is primarily based on my interpretation of the Rider-Waite deck. My calavera figures are inspired by Mexican folk art such as Retablos, Ex-votos, Dia de Los Muertos nichos (shadow boxes), and illustrations from José Guadalupe Posada's broadsheets.
I have often proclaimed that I've been drawing skeletons most of my life – one of my first at the age of five on a Christmas tree box (the drawing also included an angel, devil, a police officer, and my family). I have also done a version of the Stations of the Cross in my calaca style. My calacas are engraved on our wedding rings… oh yeah, there is also the calaca mural on my house."
-Bob Rob Medina