Oakland-based artist Daniel Wayne Lugo is putting a new spin on an old game.
Lotería is a popular game of chance. Although it originated in Europe, the Mexican version is similar to bingo, in that players try to match cards with various pictograms; decks are also used in psychic readings.
The images are traditional, but they also evoke stereotypes: a black man with a top hat in cane is El Negrito, while El Apache depicts a Native American holding a tomahawk and spear.
“As a kid, I played Lotería, and I didn’t really like a lot of the images I saw,” said Lugo. Although some designs are imaginative and aesthetically pleasing, “people get really wrapped up in the romanticism of the images,” he said.
To reinterpret the designs, Lugo created Malditoria, a contemporary version of the game that uses pictograms of his own making.
“I wanted to create something that had a voice for the Mestizo—the mixed,” he said.
Lugo said he hopes people using the Malditoria deck for lotería and readings will reflect on “what it means to be a Mexican, and at the same time, what it means to be a human being.”
He's raising $5,000 to produce decks of Malditoria cards for sale. For more information, visit his Gofundme page.