My Astrology of Art blog continues this month with a study of the brilliant and complex earth sign, Taurus the bull (April 24th – May 20th). th – May 20th).
Willem de Kooning,– The determined, dissident Taurus
"Art never seems to make me peaceful or pure. I always seem to be wrapped up in the melodrama of vulgarity"
Last week we focused on Salvador Dali; his “erotic desires” and fascination with the subconscious mind, a derivative of the Taurean’s deep need to understand the world they live in and stir it up! This week we highlight another Taurus, Willem de Kooning, born April 24, 1904, and how he developed his Abstract Expressionist style for similar reasons. De Kooning created his art with great determination. Fueled by a trait common to the Taurus, known as “the Temper”, he used powerful emotions to create his greatest works. His most famous piece, Woman 1 - 1950-52, took him two years to complete, while he revised it constantly, and aggressively. It was noted that his canvases often had holes punched through from the violence of his brush strokes. Many Taureans approach life in this determined way. Why? They’re natural dissidents, whose ultimate goal is to challenge the belief systems of society.
He, like Dali, was fascinated with sexuality. In his
Women series, he contradicted the
submissive, Cold War-era housewife, and depicted the female figure as highly
aggressive, erotic and threatening. This eruption of emotions contributed to the women’s
movement, supporting the release of their power in the world.
De Kooning had a lifelong exploration of the relationship between figure and ground. I suspect that his blending of figures related directly to the connection between the individual and the whole. A blending effect using brushstrokes that draw the ground and figure together, where the woman dissolves into the background, the setting of which, typically, is indiscernible - a space de Kooning described as a "no-environment."
Lastly, the busyness of his artwork reflected the complexity of this great mind and spirit. Art is a channel for most of us, but with the Taurus it takes on a world all its own. Luckily, these brilliant works of art, challenge us to question our belief systems, and see life through a unique lens. The artistic Taureans throughout time have done just that; Orson Wells, Barbara Streisand and George Lucas to name just a few.
Thank you Tauruses of the world!