Category: artists

Cancer Self-portraits
“I don’t draw like nobody. You speak one way, but I come on and say it different. You can draw a mule, dog, cat, or a human person, I’m going to draw it different. Because you always see things different.” — Nellie Mae Rowe, Cancerian artist Rubens June 28, 1577 [...]
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May Horoscopes
There’s an eventful, exciting month coming up, with an eclipse, an upcoming Mercury retrograde and, of course, Jupiter’s move into watery, wonderful Pisces. There’s much to think about. Members are cordially invited to a Q&A session on Sunday evening at 7.30 BST (British [...]
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Taurus: A Self-portrait and a Poem
The Afternoon Sun  …This room, how familiar it is. The couch was here, near the door, a Turkish carpet in front of it. Close by, the shelf with two yellow vases. On the right—no, opposite—a wardrobe with a mirror.  In the middle the table where he wrote, and the three big wicker chairs. Beside [...]
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Aries: A Self-portrait and a Poem
  You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you?  Why are you beset with gloom?  ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room… Read the rest of [...]
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Aquarius: A Self-portrait and a poem
  Patterns  I walk down the garden-paths,  And all the daffodils  Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.  I walk down the patterned garden-paths  In my stiff, brocaded gown.  With my powdered hair and jeweled fan,  I too am a rare  Pattern. As I wander down   The garden-paths.  My [...]
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Mother, Memory, Cake: Inside the Cancerian Mind
“… one day in winter, as I came home, seeing that I was cold, my mother offered me some tea, a thing that I did not ordinarily take. I declined at first, and then for no particular reason changed my mind. She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called petite madeleine, [...]
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Astrology of Now: Refound Beauty
Sometimes the music of the planets is pure magic. On the news this morning: the discovery of a painting by the Renaissance master, Sandro Botticelli — a version of the famous Madonna of the Pomegranates which hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. It had been considered a fake, but [...]
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Venus in Aries: Cy Twombly
“It’s more like I’m having an experience than making a picture.” — Cy Twombly Cy Twombly’s work is unmistakable: giant scribbles, smudges, words and phrases crash together across vast stretches of white. They look as if they’ve been made in an instant, a flash, a dash, a moment of possession — [...]
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Venus in Aries: Anish Kapoor
Continuing the series on artists with Venus in Aries. The picture tells the story really. Anish Kapoor has Venus at 0° Aries — the Ur degree, the alpha … the very beginning of the whole Zodiac. And well, is here is a great big Mons Venus in Aries own colour. Kapoor loves red. It’s nice that he [...]
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Venus in Aries: Francisco de Goya
Venus, the planet of love and art, harmony and sweetness, spends a long time in Aries, a sign that represents some quite contrary energies, in 2017. So we have an opportunity to look and think about how Venus behaves here. I’ve been looking at the charts of artists, fashion designers and film [...]
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Artist’s Birthday: Arthur Rackham
They say that the best way to see fairies is slantwise, out of the corner of your eye. Twisting, twirling, pirouetting india ink, delighted detail, subtle washes of colour and something sinister: the drawings of Arthur Rackham. Fairies swirl into trees, spin into trolls, spin into wild [...]
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Astrology of Now: Castrating Mars
This extraordinary gory painting, possibly by Caravaggio, was found in an attic in the French city of Toulouse a couple of years ago, but not presented to the public until yesterday. It’s fascinating that it should be revealed at just this time of retrogrades, a time of retrieval — perhaps [...]
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On Pisces
Sadko In The Underwater Kingdom by Ilya Repin (Wikimedia Commons) From Tunisia to Elizabeth Taylor, you never know who you’re going to swim past down there in the blue, blue sea. With the Sun still in Pisces, visit or revisit these OA posts on or about the sign of the Fishes. A Fortnight [...]
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Ethereal Woman vs Material Girl
  Did you know that popmamas Madonna and Kate Bush were born within a few weeks of each other? Oh astrological joy! The English mystic and the queen of consumerism…. let’s check it out. Kate Bush shimmered on to the music scene with an astonishingly original sound when she was [...]
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Do We Need Narcissus?
Narcissus (suddenly): “Have you ever been in love? I mean really in love?” You: “Well, obviously, I marr—“ Narcissus interrupts: “Me – I’m super sensitive so when someone like me falls in love, well it’s probably unusually intense. I mean I [...]
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A Fortnight (or so) Of Visionary Artists
Detail from the Stigmatisation of St Francis. Tiepolo (March 5) Tiepolo, a vivid conjuror of imaginary worlds, painted ceilings. So did Michelangelo. It was the fashion in those days, of course, to paint visions of heaven… What follows are works by artists born between March 5 and 21 [...]
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Venus in Art: Rivera and Freud
Dona Elena Flores de Carrillo by Diego Rivera. (1952) The Mexican muralist Diego Rivera was born on December 8, 1886. The British painter Lucian Freud was born on December 8, 1922. The sign of Sagittarius – half-man, half-beast. Centaurs were notorious for their brawling and rapine. Animal [...]
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Suzanne Valadon
This terrific self-portrait dates from 1927. Just as a supplement to the Satie piece: here is Suzanne Valadon’s chart. She was a wonderful woman, a free spirit, single mother, great painter and an inspiration for many other artists (Neptune in the 7th), in particular Renoir. For a while [...]
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The Impressionists: The Power of Friendship (Part One)
Monet by his friend Renoir (1875) When a grocer’s son from Le Havre and a young factory worker from central France met in a studio in Paris in 1862, one of the most important friendships in the history of art was born. Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir were in the midst of torrid, [...]
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Damien Hirst Redux
The art establishment’s favourite entrepreneur is on the radio this morning, so I thought I’d repost a piece I wrote about him. It made me laugh again, but that is part of Hirst’s charm. To read it, click here.
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