Artists of the Zodiac

I was looking forward to writing an enticing post for you yesterday, detailing my adventures at a glamorous New York art world dinner party, complete with Chelsea dealers, hot gallerinas, and a who’s who of hot emerging artists, but alas, Mercury is retrograde, and (long story short) I never made it, and instead spent my evening on my couch, snacking on edamame and reading my horoscope.

Since the stars are clearly on my mind, and since it is April (Aries), the astrological version of New Years, I thought we could instead celebrate by indulging in my guilty pleasure in astrology, and look at some artists and their star signs.

Aries: Shirin Neshat (March 26, 1957)

Shirin Neshat’s work and her persona are characterized by strength. She delves deeply, assertively, and unapologetically into the realms of philosophy, psychology, politics, sexuality, and sociology. The fire in her passion and the confidence in her opinions are characteristically Aries traits.

Untitled (Hands), 2005

Taurus: Richard Avedon (May 15, 1923)

Richard Avedon is famous as a fashion photographer, and is typically Taurean in his appreciation for the physical beauty and luxe materiality of all things pertaining to the world of fashion. The rich texture of a velvet gown, the subtle crinkle of a taffeta blouse, the luxurious fullness of a fur stole, the sparkle of a bejeweled diamond choker, the elegance of a silk gloved arm… all of these things seduce Taurus, who luxuriates in all tangible, earthly, material pleasures.

Marlene Dietrich, turban by Dior, the Ritz, Paris, August 1955

Gemini: Damien Hirst (June 7, 1965)

Damien Hirst wears many hats. He is the multi-tasker of the art world, with the innate ability to juggle like a Gemini. He is an extremely prolific artist (with 551 works posted for sale just on artnet!), he is an art collector himself, and he is a successful entrepreneur who has been involved in restaurant ventures and in the gallery business.

Minaret, 2009

Cancer: Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862)

Although he was unusually famous in his lifetime, Gustav Klimt carried out his gold-leafed, figurative works in a relatively hermetic environment. He lead a very private life, and like any Cancer, it was dedicated primarily to his home and family (and his art).

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II, 1912

Leo: Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928)

Andy Warhol is the quintessential Leo. He built his entire oeuvre around his own image and persona, and blended fame and art in an unprecedented manner. Also, Leo’s have a thing about their coiff (or their lion’s mane) as the defining characteristic of their appearance, and Andy’s thick, white shock of a hairdo is no exception.

Liz, 1965

Virgo: Carl Andre (September 16, 1935)

For Virgos, cleanliness is next to godliness. It is no wonder, then, that Carl Andre is a central figure in Minimalist art. His flat, linear and gridded sculptures are orderly and immaculate, perfectly reflecting Virgo’s values.

The Void Enclosed by Lead & Copper Squares of Three, Four, & Five, 1998

Libra: Maya Lin (October 5, 1959)

Libra is symbolized by the scales, and balance and symmetry are of utmost importance. Maya Lin’s monumental sculptures are heavily informed by her education in architecture, which relies on the natural balance and symmetry of physics. Libra is also profoundly concerned with justice, so it is notable that beginning with the Vietnam War Memorial, much of Lin’s public work has been commemorative.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington D.C., 1982 (picture from sites.google.com/site/arsa54/webshots13)

Scorpio: Robert Mapplethorpe (November 4, 1946)

Robert Mapplethorpe’s is notorious for his sexually explicit and subversive photography. His attraction toward portraying provocative subjects, homoeroticism and sadomasochism in his art, is deeply Scorpio. Scorpio is intense, extreme, and allured by mystery and taboo.

George Bussey, 1979

Sagittarius: Wassily Kandinsky (December 16, 1866)

Wassily Kandinsky’s concept for Der Blaue Reiter encapsulates his theoretical and philosophical idealism, which made him a pioneer in abstract art. Like the Blue Rider, vehemently urging his steed into the future, Sagittarius is the Archer of the zodiac, casting his arrows, full of aspiration and determination, toward a new and better vision of tomorrow.

Orange, 1923

Capricorn: Henri Matisse (December 31, 1869)

Henri Matisse is one of the principal, most influential and adored figures of modern art. Like Cézanne and Picasso, he is definitive, historic, and venerated. Capricorn is characterized by success, and its symbol is the mountain goat that climbs tirelessly to the top of the proverbial mountain. Matisse is there, at the highest summit, in the history of modern art.

Knife Thrower, 1946

Aquarius: Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912)

As a pioneer and a visionary in the Abstract Expressionist movement, Jackson Pollock is an Aquarian figure in the art world. His inventive and iconic drip paintings altered and redefined abstraction, signaling an Aquarian rebellion against the status quo definitions of modernism.

Untitled (based on the painting CR344), 1951

Pisces: Hiroshi Sugimoto (February 23, 1948)

Sensitive, spiritual, and very creative, Pisces is often considered the artist of the zodiac. Hiroshi Sugimoto’s introspective and deeply detailed photographs are almost ethereal, and seem infused with philosophy. Full of Piscean imagination, they contain quietness and mystery, inviting contemplation.

Sea of Japan, Rebun Island, 1996

Click here for more artist birthdays.

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One Response to Artists of the Zodiac

  1. segmation says:

    Hi Betina,
    If you like Matisse, please take a minute to look at my blog at: http://segmation.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/introduction-to-fauvism-www-segmation-com/ and thanks for allowing this comment.

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