Northern California - United States
Card Artistry by Justin Flom
Justin Flom's "Card Artistry" is an unexpected revelation of a selected card in which the magician turns the deck into a famous painting (or if you prefer, a brain-scan image).
It's the rarest kind of magic effect: it captures the imaginations of both magicians and audiences. Evoking a comparison of magician as artist, the performer "paints" his deck of cards into a four-by-four card mosaic of the Mona-Lisa. The spectator's selection appears in the painting! Inspired by a great Chris Kenner effect, "Card Artistry" is full of touches by professional performer Justin Flom.
Running Time: Approximately 18 mins
I'll begin this small review by stating straight away that I love this trick! Seriously, I really do.
But, let's have a look before we get too excited.
Month after month we are inundated with the latest and greatest flavor of the week by manufacturer's and dealers worldwide. Each seller claiming to have the greatest trick, effect or gadget since the invention of the double lift.
So what do we do? We read all the hype and speculation and just when we can't stand it any longer, we finally break down and order the new miracle worker.
Unfortunately, most times what we receive thru the mail is far from what we initially expected. Sometimes its because the trick doesn't live up to the ad copy and hype. Other times the effect is great, but the apparatus is poorly made and just doesn't last under rigorous performing conditions. Finally, once in a while the trick is actually great but - as it turns out, even with practice, the sleights involved are just way beyond our own skill level to execute well (this can be especially true with many card or coin tricks).
That said, I do not believe that Justin Flom's Card Artistry falls into any of the aforementioned scenarios. The effect plays-out as described in the ad copy, the props are well made (printed by the USPCC), and learning this effect is well within the means of just about anyone, save a complete neophyte.
What you'll receive is a professionally produced instructional dvd plus the necessary custom-made cards. By the way, though its not mentioned anywhere in the ad copy, no matter which version you purchase (Mona Lisa or Brain Scan), each allows you the option of two different revelations. So, even though its usually a bad idea to repeat a performance - it is possible and with a completely different outcome.
The effect makes use of an entire deck which you'll need to provide yourself (pretty much any poker size cards will work).You'll also need to provide a close-up mat (yes, for most situations you are going to need one). I will say to those of you who don't own a mat; this effect is reason enough to buy one now. Before you ask, no - the mat is not used to conceal or produce anything.
The dvd begins with two live performances (one using the Mona Lisa painting production and one which reveals an x-ray of the spectators head). In addition Justin performs the effect in the studio just for the viewer. Nice.
We are then taken step-by-step thru the entire effect which includes the set-up, shuffling and handling of the deck. Justin seems very likeable and teaches you all the basics with a few additional tips thrown in for good measure. Most of you will have the mechanics mastered in a very short time. For some of you a little more practice will be needed. But again, the techniques used are not that difficult to master. So relax, we're not talking brain surgery here.
So there you have it. A great effect that most of you can master and use with very little effort and yet still be rewarded with some very amazed and pleased audience members.
I do need to point out that there are a few things you may want to consider depending on the venues you are use to performing in.
Card Artistry does require the use of a close-up mat. Because of this restaurant workers may find it difficult to use, since finding adequate table space may well be an issue.
Obviously walk-around is a no go. However, bar magicians should be able to make use of this with little to no problem. Re-set is quick and painless and yes, if necessary everything can be thoroughly examined.
I know that some of you will probably complain that something different than the Mona Lisa painting should have been used since there have been at least two previous tricks on the market which uses the same artwork. I asked myself the same question and decided to take a survey. I went to the local supermarket to pick-up a few items and while there walked up to a dozen or so people and asked them to name a famous painting. All but one remarked; Mona Lisa. By the way, the last person I questioned answered Picasso.
Finally, I do have two minor complaints and though they are moot points I still feel compelled to mention them.
First, while the teaching is done very well, the camera work is not the best. Not only is most (if not all) of the video shot with a single camera, things are quite often going in and out of focus. Though this in no way prevents you from learning a great trick, I did find it very annoying. This might have been done intentionally, but I doubt it. In any case its very irritating for us older guys to watch.
Second, in one of the performances the deck suddenly and mysteriously changes from blue to red - I had to back the video to make sure there wasn't something I missed. There is either a secret bonus trick hidden somewhere on this disc or someone fell asleep in the editing room. Ahem...Justin?
Those two small points aside, this is great visual magic that is easy to do and plays extremely strong for a lay audience. Not too many magic tricks are sexy - this is one of them. Highly recommended!
Suggested retail is $35.00 / (DVD plus special cards)
Available for purchase directly from Vanishing Inc.
You may email Vanishing Inc at:
Or visit their website by
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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