Astrological Aesthetics: August 2015 Horoscopes

Henry Ossawa Tanner, "Daniel in the Lions' Den" (1907–18) (Mr. and Mrs. William Preston Harrison Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, via Wikimedia Commons)
Henry Ossawa Tanner, “Daniel in the Lions’ Den” (1907–18) (Mr. and Mrs. William Preston Harrison Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, via Wikimedia Commons)

Hyperallergic’s horoscopes offer astrological advice for artists and art types, in art terms, every month.

Leo (July 23–August 22)

There used to be this really fantastic little piece of street art affixed to one of the traffic poles near the Hyperallergic offices. Let us tell you, Leo, it was a thing of beauty — subtle, clever, and full of personality, a veritable unicorn in the street art ecosystem. We had our eye on that thing for months, casing the intersection where it hung, procuring the necessary tools, plotting a clandestine deinstall under cover of darkness. And then, the week we were set to go for it, the thing disappeared! We were crushed, but will be slightly less so if you can learn from our loss and just go for it! In work and love, this is not a time to hesitate or play it safe. The stars are in your favor, so take advantage and claim what’s yours.

Virgo (August 23–September 23)

Ah, Virgo, August sure is a perfect time for relaxing and going for Georges Seurat–style strolls and picnics on the waterfront, right? WRONG! The current celestial alignment is perfect — like, once-in-a-generation perfect — for launching any long-brewing projects. You can do no wrong this month, unless you do nothing.

Libra (September 24–October 23)

Are you familiar with the work of Russian performance artist and provocateur Pyotr Pavlensky, Libra? No, don’t worry, the stars are not telling you to nail your genitals to the town square. Rather, you should make yourself impervious to such dramatic provocations, because your romantic life will unfortunately be rife with them this month.

Scorpio (October 24–November 22)

There is a work in the Museum of Modern Art’s Yoko Ono retrospective called “Bag Piece” (1964). True to its title, it consists of a large black bag that’s activated when a viewer climbs into it and moves, rolls, writhes, and wiggles to their heart’s content — or until a docent says it’s time to let someone else have a go. Scorpio, try to spend as much of the month as possible inside “Bag Piece” — or a homespun approximation — because everything you attempt, whether romantically or professionally, will end in disaster.

Sagittarius (November 23–December 21)

The Cleveland Museum of Art has an amazing little Henri Matisse painting. In many regards it is unremarkable, mediocre even, with its hastily rendered tree-lined road on the outskirts of Paris, fading away toward the horizon. What makes it startling and utterly contemporary is that the foreground is the interior of a car — Matisse painted it while speeding along a country road in 1917! Its through-the-windshield perspective seems to anticipate racing video games, police dashcam videos, and countless other forms of 21st-century visual culture. We’re not sure what made us think of that painting, something about cars … Oh right: let someone else do the driving this month, Sagittarius, while you sit back and take in the scenery.

Capricorn (December 22–January 20)

Have you ever seen footage of Bridget Riley painting, Capricorn? It’s incredibly soothing and therapeutic, all “rhythm and repetition,” as she puts it. She focuses on individual lines and forms, confident that the overall picture will ultimately resolve itself. You should follow her lead this month, when small-scale problem-solving will go your way, but anything more far-reaching — whether at work or play — will fall flat.

Aquarius (January 21–February 19)

Nicole Eisenman paints fantastic party scenes, Aquarius. Not “fantastic” in the sense that they portray parties that look really fun — quite the opposite, in fact — but in the sense that, like a seminal Pieter Bruegel the Elder wedding scene, they are full of drama, intrigue, and playful details. Now would be a good time to throw a summer rager. Just don’t let it turn into an Eisenman scenario.

Pisces (February 20–March 20)

Do you remember the story of Carmen Lucette Tisch? On December 29, 2011, Tisch was attending a party at the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver when she leaned against a Still painting worth $30 million, punched it repeatedly, slid to the floor, and, um, relieved herself. As a spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney said after the fact, “You have to wonder where her friends were.” Well, Pisces, one of your closest friends is going to commit a Tisch-level mistake this month, and you are the only one who can save her. No pressure.

Aries (March 21–April 20)

Now is a time to revel in formal experiments and perfect your process, Aries. All’s quiet on the romantic front this month, and work will be uneventful, so it’s a perfect period to challenge yourself in the studio — try out new materials, streamline tedious tasks, launch into a new, off-the-wall (literally or figuratively) series. Take a page from the Surrealist playbook and embrace chance, error, and randomness. Even unintended results can prove productive in the long run.

Taurus (April 21–May 21)

How do you think Paul Gauguin felt, Taurus, after having been summoned to the south of France by Vincent van Gogh with the promise of sparking a radical artists colony, only to discover that the raving Dutchman was the only person on the scene? It’s kind of hard to put yourself in Gauguin’s clogs, isn’t it? Well, your friends and acquaintances are going to pull some shifty moves this month that, if left unchecked, will land you in a heap of trouble. Just be sure to sort them out early; nobody needs to lose an ear.

Gemini (May 22–June 21)

Peggy Guggenheim was a prodigiously promiscuous person. We’d heard as much, but a recent documentary about her life really captured the way she conflated aesthetic kinship and physical intimacy. Better get in touch with your inner Guggenheim, Gemini, because August is an astrologically ideal time for a summer fling, or several. Just be sure to be honest about what you’re up to — you don’t want to end up in a Peggy Guggenheim–Max Ernst–Dorothea Tanning type of situation.

Cancer (June 22–July 22)

How’s your social media profile, Cancer? Are you tastefully present on the core triumvirate of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook? Consider adding another platform (Vine? Snapchat? Weibo?), just for the sake of cultivating a slightly eccentric online persona. The next month is an ideal time to increase your visibility, but make sure you do it tastefully. Use Jerry Saltz as an example of what not to do, and follow the lead of someone more adept, like, say, Hank Willis Thomas.

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