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The deck consists of 52 cards, 2 jokers and 2 extra cards. The cards measure 65 x 106 mm.
The deck was created by Cerberus, an alias for an artist from the southern part of the Netherlands. He was born in a small village near Maastricht in 1966 and studied graphic art and monumental design at the St. Joost Art Academy in Breda. Besides his wooden sculptures he cuts wood and linoleum for his graphic art prints. For obvious reasons it was the artist's wish not to be mentioned here with his family name: he might want to go to Russia again at the end of this year.

The red joker represents a fictional colonel of the FSB, the secret service unit formerly known as the KGB. Their sinister role in this war is best illustrated by a quote from an FSB colonel in Chechnya, that a journalist wrote down and that can be read on the banner: "we decide how long they will kill each other". Too bad that these key words form the only Cyrillic text that has not been translated in this otherwise perfect bi-lingual deck.

The second joker shows a self-portrait of the artist Cerberus. His weapon is not a gun, but the roller that is used to apply the paint on the original, large sized, linoleum cuts, that were the basis for this deck.
It may not be intentional, but to us it looks as if he has just finished the deck by coloring his own apron and thus revealing the title..... in one last stroke.

Except for the Spades and Hearts, the aces and number cards have a plain design. Just like on the Kings, Queens and Jacks there are both Russian and English indicators on the aces too. The ace of Spades was signed by the artist at our request.
On the extra cards the artist explains his views on the situation in Chechnya and on this deck and of course there is one card in English and one in Russian.

The deck was printed in offset in a limited edition of 1000 decks in 2005. The edition has become even more limited as a result of the confiscation of 120 decks by the FSB. Inside the box the name of the printer is mentioned, but "Sacco & Vanzetti" is an alias for a Dutch printing firm, that prefers to keep a low profile in this production too.

                front of the box

sides of the box.

top and bottom

The deck can be ordered directly from the artist through his website: http://www.cerberus-graphic-art.com
By buying this deck, you'll support the free distribution of this deck to Russian visitors of his exhibitions.

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