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Astrological Aesthetics: January 2018 Horoscopes

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

Albert Bierstadt, "Rocky Mountain Goats" (1885) (via Wikimedia Commons)
Albert Bierstadt, “Rocky Mountain Goats” (1885) (via Wikimedia Commons)

Capricorn (December 22–January 20)

How many of us have entertained the fantasy of spending a year cruising the art world jet stream, Capricorn, traveling from biennial to art fair to festival to triennial to conference and so on? Well, too bad: your window for ’round-the-world art tripping has closed. This year, you need to get grounded and put down roots.

Aquarius (January 21–February 19)

During a recent visit to the Metropolitan Museum, we noticed a couple standing very close to an Op art painting, apparently in an attempt to induce a “Magic Eye”-style vision. We wanted very badly to tell them that they were missing the point of the painting; that there was no secret image, they just needed to step back and bask in the tricky optics of the curving and crisscrossing lines. We held our tongues, but we’re going to tell you essentially the same thing, Aquarius: you’ve been focusing on details a lot lately, but this month you need to step back and size up the big picture.

Pisces (February 20–March 20)

We were saddened to learn that Baltimore’s roving art space The Contemporary is going on hiatus, but there’s also something brave about that decision. The art world is so committed to its institutions and rituals, it’s rare to see one decide to take a break and seriously examine itself. It’s going to be that kind of month for you, Pisces, as a major crisis precipitates a very earnest reevaluation of your priorities — just remember to trust your intuition.

Aries (March 21–April 20)

You can learn a lot from the parable of “Salvator Mundi,” Aries. No, not the part about marketing spectacles making pesky questions about authenticity and authorship obsolete. What’s relevant for you this month is the coalition of forces that worked together to acquire it for the Louvre Abu Dhabi: two Saudi princes and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism. You will face some major challenges this month, but if you get into a real bind, don’t hesitate to call on friends in high places.

Taurus (April 21–May 21)

The artist’s role in gentrification is one of the most complex and divisive issues facing art communities, and the astrological chart for 2018 makes abundantly clear that it’s not going away. This month in particular, Taurus, your own movements and those of the people around you will bring about major changes in your life. This could mean having to find a new studio, leaving for a residency in a far-flung locale, taking a job in another city, or something else entirely. The decision will be daunting, but remember that change is inevitable.

Gemini (May 22–June 21)

Working in established art centers and major cities is all well and good, but sometimes the best way to make a splash is to go outside your normal spheres of activity and influence. Take, for instance, the Center for Political Beauty collective, which recently erected a scale replica of Berlin’s Holocaust memorial alongside the house of a politician who’d criticized the monument in the small town of Bornhagen. This month, Gemini, you need to find your own Bornhagen.

Cancer (June 22–July 22)

Please excuse us, Cancer, but we’re about to pull a Jenny Holzer and rely on a truism: sometimes it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than get permission. Occasionally, this strategy backfires spectacularly, as the recent case of the four-story penis mural illustrates, but in general it holds true. Keep all this in mind, as you will need to act quickly and decisively this month.

Leo (July 23–August 22)

One of our favorite exhibitions in Chelsea in 2017 — though it did not make our year-end Top 20 — was Wangechi Mutu’s solo show at Gladstone Gallery. After being so familiar (and enamored) with her large-scale, mixed-media collages, it was startling to see such a formally spare, aesthetically sleek, and materially inventive exhibition of her sculptures. It was an incredibly startling and satisfying metamorphosis. This month, Leo, the astrological climate is ripe for you to dramatically reinvent and intensify one of the central relationships in your life.

Virgo (August 23–September 23)

Have you been enjoying Nan Goldin’s Instagramming, Virgo? We certainly have, and it seems like she really hit her stride over the holidays, honing in on the natural overlaps between her own aesthetic and the demands of the ‘gram. You, too, are in an optimal place this month, astrologically speaking, to get your work (whatever form it may take) in front of many more sets of eyes. Whether that takes the form of venturing onto a new social media platform or putting together a good, old-fashioned slideshow is entirely your call.

Libra (September 24–October 23)

It’s never too soon to start thinking about your estate, Libra. No, we’re not saying this because there’s a risk of untimely death in your immediate future, but your star chart indicates that now is an opportune time to do some serious financial planning, and there’s nothing more serious than your ascent to the great big encyclopedic museum in the sky. Besides, don’t you want to make sure nobody writes a book of allegedly fictional anecdotes about you after you’re gone?

Scorpio (October 24–November 22)

We don’t want to over-promise, Scorpio, but if you’ve been in negotiations with one or more galleries about joining their rosters, the deal will be finalized (or fizzle out) in January. But please, before you sign anything, please cross-reference your dealer-to-be with the many studies illustrating the lack of gender and racial diversity in galleries. You don’t really want to show alongside a bunch of old white men, do you?

Sagittarius (November 23–December 21)

Bummer about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, isn’t it? Not the 1990 heist — well, yes, that too — but we meant the museum’s recent offer of $10 million as a reward for information leading to the work’s recovery, which quietly expired on the night of December 31 with nary a new lead. You will also be trying to recover lost valuables this month, Sagittarius, and like the Gardner Museum’s investigation, yours will probably take a long time — though, hopefully, less than three decades.

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