Hello, Urban Tarot followers, I hope your new year is looking up so far. Thank you for sticking with me as the project continues to develop. It's been while since the last update, but we're on the move once more. Holiday travels, combined with some major shifts around our household have interrupted my progress, but I'm setting into a new office now and looking forward to tearing into the last ten images still remaining in the set.
Since my last update, our roommates of 8 years, Jessica (who modeled for Jusice and Strength) and Chris (The Hermit), have moved out to a new house of their own in Pittsburgh. Soon after, following a lot of uncertainty and worry, my wife and I were delighted to welcome a new couple into our home. Sarah has already been a model for me recently (The Nine of Disks) but you'll be seeing both her and her wife Jen in one of the remaining cards.
The Prince of Cups: The Filmmaker
Representing the calm air over the sea of troubled water, the Prince of Cups approaches the world of emotions with a careful, sometimes cold, distance. While he may contain a deep sea of emotional complexity himself, he tends to be guarded about letting others see his vulnerability. Instead, he externalizes that conflict, and looks for ways to evoke those emotions in others.
Will this scene make his audience understand real pain? Will this particular phrasing convey the full force of love? Can this photograph evoke profound loneliness and despair? Each move is measured, calculated to produce a specific effect. The Prince is a master of the emotional sea, but appears to walk above it, keeping a careful and professional distance. Sometimes there can be a kind of cruelty there - is it art, or cunning manipulation? Are his emotions ever genuine, or simply perfectly designed to look genuine?
Compare our Prince of Cups to his twin, the Queen of Swords (actually the second image I created for this set back in 2003, with Ms. Debbie Trencher sitting for me as model). Both are the combination of Air and Water, and I've portrayed both as artists of a sort. Our Queen of Swords is a Painter, and her work requires the skill, patience and forethought of Air, but she is fueled by Water in all she does. When she paints, it is because she feels and the work follows her feeling. Perhaps it conveys those feelings well, perhaps it is incomprehensible to others, but what always comes across is the emotion she puts into it. The Prince of Cups, by contrast, works for his audience. His work is driven by the need to evoke, to beguile and to charm. He is happiest when people see themselves in his work and he, the creator, is completely forgotten. Not satisfied with simply portaying personal truths, the Prince strives to touch something universal.
I won't hide the fact that I associate pretty strongly with the Prince of Cups myself. If I were to pick one of the 16 court cards to most often represent myself, it would be this one. But the obvious question is, how do I want you to feel about that statement? :)
Many thanks to backer Rob Burke who flew out to me and modeled for this card back in July of '12. I know it was a long time coming, but I hope you're happy with how the final piece came out.