Tarot Cards For the Dolls: Boyfriend.dick in Interview

Zooming with Brooklyn artist, meme father, and heathen alt account icon @boyfriend.dick to talk about their new tarot deck and meme culture.

When Brooklynite memer, musician, OnlyFanser, and seasoned performance artist boyfriend.dick pops up on Zoom, his/their room is a wash of chrome, reflective surface, neon, and plant dad green. It’s aesthetic as fuck. They rock a long-ass ponytail and a boyfriend.dick endless scroll tank top, an homage to a summer performance they did in Prospect Park, tumbling down stairs to a trippy TikTok sound collage, covered in memes.

He’s serving digital-hard tattoos and the sweetest of smiles, and there’s his appeal: The memes are brainmelting and wild and horny, TV-static edgy, but the vibe is wholesome, handsome, and warm. Thus: “boyfriend.dick.” We have to stan. Do you follow this edgy heartthrob? Follow this edgy heartthrob. It’s so much fun to be a part of—plus, you can get your way into the BFD Discord Community, building community for Internet gays and sharing hot dicc piccs. 

He shows me a new piece of jewelry he had crafted for his website, a little silver spoon charm with a mystic eye on the end of it. Use that for whatever you want! Really small bowls of cereal? It’s available on his website, along with the preorder for the next big thing he’s working on: a tarot deck. 

“I’ve always been interested in astrology and tarot and occult,” he says. “When I was like 12, me and my sister were doing, like, Wiccan spells. Literally googling ‘spells’ on the Internet and finding spells and lighting feathers on fire and shit.”

“And I come from a Catholic background, which—Catholicism is already very mystic oriented. I feel like that all plays into my queerness as well. Being able to see beyond just what’s in front of me.”

Admittedly not an “pen and pencil” artist, (though certainly a visual one,) he was curious about a way to create a tarot deck but at a loss as to how to illustrate one. But as he continued posting memes to Instagram account @boyfriend.dick, the images seemed to speak to both the specific moment in which we live and broader Internet culture simultaneously. It also started as a joke. Once the feedback came in from his editing together a couple of ironic internet tarot cards, he realized this was actually his moment to create his deck. 

“Coming from the age of memes, we all can kinda feel, like ‘the mood,’ ya know?” he says. 

He shows me some examples, holding up different cards to the screen. Instead of the usual suites—Pentacles, Cups, Wands, and Swords—you have animals favored by the Internet animals: Dogs, Fish, Cats, and Goats. It’s all stuff you might have seen on a meme page or online somewhere, but they do all have that weight he describes. The deck also reconstructs relationships to gender in the cards. Instead of the Page, Knight, Queen, and King, there is Baby, Enby, Masc, and Femme. Flipping traditional structure on its head, Femme trumps Masc in this deck. The images are also queer in more ephemeral ways—like a beefy little pitbull with blood all over its face. Don’t ask me why, that’s just gay. 

For the major arcana, the heavy symbols most of us are more familiar with—The Devil, Justice—are a little more recognizable and trending, though still probing the subtle and horny layers of our contemporary online experience. Instead of The Hermit, you have the “Shadowbanned” card. The “Magician” is “Healthy Masculinity.” You have the Troll, the Influencer, The Porn Star, etc. It’s got sophisticated, arts school doctorate vibes.

And while the themes and images are modern, each card has its relation to the original archetypes and illustrations. For example, The Hermit is typically depicted as a journeying soul carrying a lantern that represents inner light and wisdom. Boyfriend.dick’s corresponding “Shadowbanned” card carries a similar vibe. It’s still what he calls a “soul-searching” card, but instead of an old man, you have the nighttime silhouette of a dog on a rock, with eyes illuminated by the flash of a digital camera. To the right of the dog, the illuminated branches of a tree. Behind both, the night sky.

For something that started as a kind of ironic joke, these cards carry powerful imagery. 

“Everything in the tarot, everything in astrology, could represent anybody,” he says. “It is aspects of human experience. And by pointing to each of these aspects of a human experience, it helps us process the things in our lives that relate to that [experience]. I don’t check my horoscope or get my cards read when I feel really good and like everything’s going well. It’s a way to process a question that cannot be answered.

The deck is available for pre-order now and scheduled to ship out in January, and BFD is looking forward to finally share it with the world.

“I’m just really excited to have this deck, and to be building this language around what I do as an artist and bring people in and help people heal in whatever way they need to,” he says, “whether that’s just connecting to the art or actually utilizing it to process what’s going on in their lives.”

In the meantime, @boyfriend.dick will be launching a new face filter on Instagram this weekend, where you can do your very own two-card reading. I’ll be posting mine ASAP, because like all of you, I’m horny, I love memes, and I’ve got a lot of unresolved painful questions in the bottom of my, uh, heart.

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