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Astrological Aesthetics: March 2016 Horoscopes

John Kindness, "The Big Fish" (photo by Ardfern, via Wikimedia Commons)
John Kindness, “The Big Fish” (photo by Ardfern, via Wikimedia Commons)

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

Pisces (February 20–March 20)

Have you ever commissioned a portrait painting, Pisces? What about a sculpture bust? Please tell us you’ve at least had your image rendered in delicate oil brushstrokes astride a rearing horse or other large mammal? No? What have you been doing all these years?! It’s time for you to start living a little more like a Medici, so find your Michelangelo. (Just to be clear, this is not coded relationship advice — nothing will go well for you romantically this month.)

Aries (March 21–April 20)

We heard you had a good Armory Week, Aries. You sold some work, or were featured prominently in press coverage of the fairs, or maybe a museum acquired one of your pieces. We’re really proud of you and everything, but if you rest on your laurels now all that progress will be lost. You’ve got to work even harder this month to keep that momentum going or you will regret it forever. Besides, there’s Frieze Week just around the corner.

Taurus (April 21–May 21)

Did you hear about Ulay suing Marina Abramović, Taurus? It’s a sad state of affairs, and we wish the performance art veterans would just meet up and have it out — as they did so many times in the past — rather than resorting to legal sparring. Happily, you’ll have no choice but to confront your arch nemesis this month, and more than once! Be sure to keep your cool in these duels, which will threaten both your professional and romantic aspirations. Acting strong and stoic might help, but bursting into tears will spell disaster.

Gemini (May 22–June 21)

Is there any artist more impressive than Liz Cohen? Don’t interrupt, Gemini, that was a rhetorical question — there is not. The Detroit-based artist and lowrider customizer has expanded her oeuvre from documentary film and photography to a kind of long-term, multi-platform performance art experiment that incorporates functioning race cars and her own physical appearance. “I didn’t preconceive the whole project,” she said in an interview. “I don’t think I could have worked on it as long as I have if I had had it neatly wrapped up in a bow.” This month, when inspiration strikes — which it will — don’t plan or preconceive anything, just go all in.

Cancer (June 22–July 22)

We don’t ever really look at “American Gothic” anymore, Cancer. Sure, we see it all the time — and the countless parodies — but we never actually look at it, you know? Yet it holds a valuable lesson for you this month. Let’s look at it together. Notice the flat, contented gaze of the male figure (modeled after Grant Wood’s dentist), who looks directly at us. Compare this to the sidelong stare of the female figure (modeled after Wood’s sister Nan), who seems to pine for an escape from the painting’s tight framing and constricting symmetry. This month, you are Nan — hoping for something more, but not wanting to leave your partner behind. Encourage your partner to share new experiences with you, rather than just abandoning her or him; your relationship will benefit from it. (On a more practical note, and speaking of dentists, you should really go in for a dental checkup.)

Leo (July 23–August 22)

Over a decade ago we spent a week on the island of Guam. Guam is a sad place, let us tell you; the worst of US society — malls, highways, fast food restaurants, and shabby suburbs — sprawling across what was once a beautiful tropical island. There’s also a huge US Army base and a strip of tacky beach resorts. It is profoundly depressing. During our week on Guam, we only saw one art exhibition — a traveling show of terracotta warriors, no less — and it was all the more powerful for being juxtaposed with the drab spectacle of US imperialism smothering a Pacific island paradise. Remember that this month, Leo; if you find yourself completely smitten with something or someone, it might just be because the rest of your life sucks right now.

Virgo (August 23–September 23)

Everyone knows Agnes Denes for her amazing public art project “Wheatfield, A Confrontation” (1982), but there’s an intimate scale and methodical process to much of her other work that is more evocative of a mathematician than an urban farmer. Her very precise geometric drawings, 3D models, and prints reflect exactly the sort of inquisitive, detail-oriented work you’ll need to do this month, Virgo, if you want to stay ahead. Your wheat field can wait; for now, immerse yourself in minutiae.

Libra (September 24–October 23)

It’s been over four decades since Pablo Picasso died, you’d think his family and estate would have figured out who owns what by now, what’s authentic and what isn’t. And yes, we’ll grant that 45,000 works is a lot to keep track of, but 43 years is also a long time, what the hell have they been doing? (Aside from counting their inheritance, that is.) You know what the Picasso clan needs, Libra? You! This month you’ll have unprecedented power to act decisively and persuasively in all matters involving friends and family.

Scorpio (October 24–November 22)

Now’s a good time to cheat, Scorpio, though not in your love life — strictly in your work. Maybe there’s a tedious process you can formalize, or a slow-to-set material you can jettison from your studio? And maybe, as you cut some corners, you’ll happen on some new formal interest that will keep you busy for months to come. You just never know; we heard Richard Serra only started bending giant plates of steel because his material of choice, platinum, was prohibitively expensive. OK, we made that up, but you get the idea — cheat at the studio, and you’ll be rewarded.

Sagittarius (November 23–December 21)

Sometimes, Sagittarius, someone has to get hurt for there to be any kind of progress or heightened level of awareness. Performance artists know this well: Chris Burden knew all about this; Marina Abramović knows it; Pyotr Pavlensky definitely knows it. Brace for pain this month, because at some point you’re going to have to let events run their course and someone (maybe you even you) will end up getting hurt. But don’t worry: the benefits will outlast the scars.

Capricorn (December 22–January 20)

Maybe it’s because tax season is upon us, maybe it’s some kind of astrological leftover from the new year, but the stars show this is an ideal time for you to be charitable, Capricorn. You could always give money to the National Endowment for the Arts, or the local institution of your choosing. Don’t forget that benefit season is also just around the corner, and all those small nonprofit art organizations are preparing raffles and benefit auctions — perhaps you could pitch in a few small works? Good karma and a tax deduction will not be the only rewards for your generosity.

Aquarius (January 21–February 19)

We’re going to let you in on a little industry lingo, Aquarius, because there’s a term we often use in our HAWUSA (Horoscope Art Writers, USA chapter) meetings that nicely encapsulates your situation in March. You’re in for a Koons month, which is to say that your professional forecast is extremely positive — just keep working hard at cranking out art, and the market will take care of the rest —but your emotional outlook is bleak. So, while you’re plugging away in the studio, don’t forget to attend to your loved ones (but not by making tacky art about them).

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