May 29, 2016
Wheel of Fortune
It’s my belief that history is a wheel. ‘Inconstancy is my very essence,’ says the wheel. Rise up on my spokes if you like but don’t complain when you’re cast back down into the depths. Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it’s also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away.
I got my first tarot deck when I was a teenager. It’s the Enchanted Tarot by Zerner and Farber – which I chose because it is rendered in a very lovely way as tapestries in fabric. I still have it and use it. I’ve never read Tarot professionally, and rarely for friends, and even then I stick to single cards or simple three card spreads. I’ve not taken it too seriously, but I do enjoy the narrative and intuitive aspects of the practice, and the symbolism, and how it helps to think through things in life. This past year, I’ve began to notice that the cards I pull don’t seem as random as they used to – they seem so much more prescient. I began to realize recently that I wanted to get deeper into the deck somehow. And that maybe a way to do that would be to draw.
I chose as my first card The Wheel of Fortune. I fantasized about doing it in a completely different style – really collaged and multilayered with image and photo references. But ultimately, I couldn’t even include two. It’s just not my style. Doing single figures, it’s my thing. So even making this card was a roundabout, as ultimately I always return to nearly where I started in creative matters. Does that happen to you too? It seems that 10 is a fortunate place to start again for me, as I am returning to posting on Final Fashion, which I began 10 years ago as a fashion student.
The reference is Tony Wilson as played by Steve Coogan in 24 Hour Party People from 2003. It’s unlike any film I’ve ever seen, it has a televised feel that works thematically. And, it seems, lovingly made about a man that catalyzed culture at the city level and then took it to the world. This is the scene I drew from, where a tramp quotes Boethieus to our hero in his 90s Armani.
The second time is never exactly like the first though. So I think the wheel is more of a spiral shape. And the image of Joy Division’s Simple Pleasures, which originates from pulsar data is also a type of spiral. Tony Wilson managed Joy Division. Which had a second round, not quite the same, as New Order. The documentary is really good too.
There are so many excellent Wheel of Fortune stories in fashion too. Most notably, The Beautiful Fall. Remember Chanel did a second round, and a third posthumously. Some people only get one round. But no one stays on top – or on the bottom – all the time. Take whatever comfort you can from that.