The World of Card Artistry

It’s been a while since I last wrote something for my blog. My magical wife Lee-Ann (Follow her blog here) has been nagging me to write about my adventures in magic.

On Tuesday, I attended the monthly Magic Circle meeting at the College of Magic and listened to the most wonderful lecture by a great magician Andrew Klazinga who spoke about card artistry as well as up-and-coming magicians around the world (although they all seemed to central around the USA – why haven’t I moved there yet?).

The heading of the triangle is Card Manipulation. Card manipulation is the appearance and disappearance of cards, flicking them about, making cards bigger or smaller and fancy cuts. Card Artistry and flourishes are branches of card manipulation. They all produce similar outcomes but hopefully I can illustrate the difference between card artistry and the rest.

Card Artistry, also known as Cardistry in my own understanding is basically a skill that you learn to manoeuvre playing cards in a smooth and delicate motion that when performed looks incredibly easy, but is in fact the polar opposite – incredibly difficult. Some people loosely will translate this as card flourishes but it is much more than that. Cardistry has skill no doubt, but the way in which the magician conducts himself during a card artistry act is with grace and care (Take a look at Andrei Jikh and the video link I put down below to understand this). Card flourishes are an “in-between” card effects. The magic in Cardistry is how the magician or any human being alive can do these awesome moves using cards your kids or you will use to play snap with. Cardistry is also known as flourishing or Extreme Card Manipulation (XCM). Either way – the words scream “insane”!

The first card artist that caught my eye was the Russian born Andrei Jikh. He is 21 years old and lives in Las Vegas. 21 years old! He says when he first started card artistry he would practice for more than 10 hours a day EVERY day! Watch this video:

It is uncut so it was recorded in one take. Just watch the video and remember to close your mouth afterwards otherwise flies will fly in and have babies down your throat.

The next duo is the Buck Twins – Dan and Dave who believe in “effortless effectiveness” and use Cardistry as a way of expression. They have released DVDs that contain intense and intricate flourishes as well as DVDs that contain tricks that look like flourishes. It is incredible what these brothers can do with their hands. And, side note, they started to learn from YouTube. Interesting no?  Here is one of their previews for their DVD that incorporates tricks and flourishes.

The Buck twins also created a DVD called: The System. It is all flourishes and skill. Not for the faint-hearted.

De’Vo Vom Schattenreich is known as the leader in card artistry and he produced this video on Cardistry starring J.S Lim who was World champion in 2006 and 2007 and Max V who was World champion in 2007 and 2008. Take a look at how fast and how smooth the moves look. THAT is the magic of Cardistry.

Next time you pick up a pack of cards and  you’re about to start dealing a hand of President or Snap – remember this article and stop for a moment to realise the potential the cardboard you hold in your hands have as well as the potential you have. These people are ordinary people with ordinary lives. You can be a cardist too. First place to start is to get a decent pack of cards – Bicycle will do. Then look on the internet to learn some basic moves. I suggest learning the Chalier cut to start off. It’s impressive, easy and will get you going into the mindset of practice makes perfect. It was the first flourish I learned.

So good luck and remember to keep practicing no matter how hard the moves get. Keep practicing no matter how discouraged you might become and remember to have fun!

below are some action photos of cardists doing their thing 🙂





1 Comment

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One response to “The World of Card Artistry

  1. Pingback: My Review on Penguin Magic | The Magic of Greg Gelb

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