Spotlight: Turning Memories Into Cards

Artist Statement

In painting my memories, I turn them into fortune-telling cards—my own deck of cards, for my own type of reading.

The tarot deck is seen as an unbound book, and when I first encountered this idea, it appealed to me. This is a book that is not to be absorbed in any order. The cards are pages that are free to roam and to be read as they turn up, without a prescribed sequence.

In the tarot, when the cards come out, a reading is created by the types of cards drawn and the organization they establish. This assembly influences the interpretation of the pictures, the story they tell. The tarot can tell a different story every time you use it.

By extension, a picture by itself is limited by everything it is supposed to represent, but when you place a picture next to another one, they turn outward and respond to what they share between them. Two pictures can do this. When you have multiple pictures and the choice to pick any number of them and in any order, the possibilities become incalculable.

Like configurations of cards, tangents of memories come at us in the same way. We have thoughts strung one after another, in no rational order, connected by a semblance of an association, and it is my job to pluck one image from this endless stream of oncoming thoughts, and then attempt to hold it in paint.

By turning my memories into cards, the transformation from personal memory to public symbol is complete: a spread of cards to be read and reconfigured by the viewer—an invocation, if you will.

Rey ArmenterosRey Armenteros was born in Miami Beach and was inclined toward art from a very young age. He obtained his Master of Fine Arts at San Francisco Art Institute and soon moved to Asia where he continued to pursue his work. His work centers on mental images and the shapes they take in our mind’s eye. Rey teaches art classes at various institutions, and his classes range from drawing and painting to color theory, watermedia, and cartooning. He now lives and works in Los Angeles. Visit his website here: