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Sunday
Jun212009

Hands of Gemini 6: Garcia Lorca

Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca (b. June 5, 1898), also an artist, drew this pair of severed hands, which chillingly prefigure his severed life: he was murdered by the Spanish fascists in 1936. Poets take note of the shout-outs among Geminis Whitman, Pessoa, Lorca and Ginsberg!

Incidentally, as a youngster, didn't Lorca look like Gemini Johnny Depp? I know "Separated at Birth" is an easy game, but when they're of the same sign I can't resist.

Saturday
Jun202009

Hands of Gemini 5: Egon Schiele

"For a well modelled thigh, you would recommend Michelangelo. For a radiant face, Rembrandt. But to whom would you turn for a supremely expressive hand? Egon Schiele, (b. 12 June 1890) the Austrian Expressionist who died at the age of 28 in the great flu pandemic of 1918, was a master of hands, and there is an enormous range of them throughout his work. There are long, thin, ivory-spindle-like hands which slide up the cheek; there are hands which drag at the flesh beneath the eye, making it bulge weirdly. There are hands which seem to snake around and almost to engulf the body, making it seem knotted and strangely tortured." (ref)


Anent Gemini's sibling associations: Schiele lived in a scandalous menage a trois with his wife and her sister, and he is believed to have had an incestuous relationship with his own sister.

Friday
Jun192009

Hands of Gemini 4: Bourke-White

A few Geminian images  taken by Margaret Bourke-White, (b. June 14, 1904). “What is amazing about Margaret Bourke-White's life is the number of opportunities she managed to get for herself. In photojournalism, getting where the action is, being there when it happens, is a major part of the talent and, ultimately, the achievement. And Bourke-White managed to get herself where things were happening when they were happening by working hard at being lucky and by her piercing intelligence and intuition. She was able to sense the potential of a great story and to get the editors of Life to transport her to the hot spot on time.  

    “An incredibly hard worker with legendary stamina and perseverance, she was also charismatic and, by all accounts, beautiful. Inevitably, people wanted to help her, giving her story leads and access. (And she apparently had a sixth sense about who would turn out to be useful to her.) Like most photographers, she had the ability to focus her personality on the getting of the photograph - by being persuasive, charming, persistent, manipulative, whatever it took. On top of all this, she had an exalted view of the role of the photographer as witness and felt that "getting there" and sending back the word was a privilege and duty. This messianic view of her job must have given her a lot of energy. (This wasn't as self-important an interpretation of the job of photojournalist as it might sound today: there was a world war raging, there was no television, no satellite transmissions to get the word out to the whole world within hours.)      . . . . Elsa Dorfman   Originally published in The Women's Review of Books, March 1997Further regarding Bourke-White: her gender bending, cross dressing, siblings, two marriages, and innumerable images of multitudes, transportation, flight, communicating, paired, iterating, signaling, etc. Her single most famous image is probably the photograph of Fort Peck Dam, which appeared on the cover of the inaugural issue of LIFE Magazine. Henry Luce, the editor/publisher of LIFE, was a Taurus. That photograph seems to me another representation of the Taurus/Gemini confrontation, wherein the first issue of the first photojournalistic organ declares the imposing compatibility of the ephemeral photograph and the most massive material manifestation of capital, or the mass-ness of the new mass media.

 

Tuesday
Jun162009

HANDS OF GEMINI 3: HEARTFIELD

John Heartfield, German photomontagist, born 19 June 1891.

 

Go here for some hands by E. M. Lilien

Tuesday
Jun162009

Hands of gemini 2: Uelsmann

Gemini photographer Jerry Uelsmann (b. June 13, 1934) characteristically works with double exposures, multiple negatives and mirrorings, all Gemini themes . .  and, of course, hands.

Friday
Jun122009

Hands of Gemini 1

 

 


The hand is Gemini’s organ, which, it goes without saying, comes in pairs.  Photography in its iterative, duplicative essence belongs to Gemini, and the hand is a perennial photographic subject.  Gemini Irving Penn, the quintessential commercial photographer, was commissioned to shoot the elusive Gemini jazzman Miles Davis. Several remarkable hand studies resulted, where the hand is allowed to take over from the face the task of representing identity. Above, a pair of jagged hand portraits, sharp as portrait glossies, signaling difference digitally.

Here, the face is a mask, and the hands share the portrait.

 

 

 

 




The photograph chosen for the actual album has been appropriated on FLICKr. The absent hand is restored.

The punning album cover of Gemini conductor George Szell’s “Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony” repeats Gemini themes.

Gemini photographer Weegee took this one.

Another Irving Penn photo. Penn also shows the Gemini trait of having a notable sibling connection. His brother  Arthur Penn also makes pictures.

See also: Hands of Escher and Raymond Pettibon

and here for Hands of Johnny Depp and Vincent Price

Wednesday
Jun032009

Hands of Gemini 8



cave-hand105.jpg

 

prehisthand.jpg

 

 

 

 







prehistoric cave art         (photo:Chauvet-Signa)

 

 

        cartoon by Saul Steinberg (b.June 15, 1914)

 

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Photographer Dorothea Lange (b. 25 May 1895)img.888-lange%20hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


pettibon071.jpg

pettibon070.jpg

 

 

 

 

RAYMOND PETTIBON (b. 26 May 1957)

 

 

 

M. C. Escher (b. 17 June 1898)
escher-hands6.jpg

 

 

 

 

        I sit at my desk and scribe the endless message from myself to my own hand.   Allen Ginsberg, Planet News (b. June 3, 1926)

 


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img.888durer%20hands035.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albrecht Durer, 21 May 1471

Author

Friday
May222009

Taurus/Gemini cusp

Hermes/Mercury stealing the Oxen of Apollo, one of several mythic resonances at the cusp of Taurus and Gemini.

Thursday
May142009

Taurus art 1.10

Full-Figured Statuette, 35,000 Years Old, Provides New Clues to How Art Evolved. New York Times, May 12, 2009

Willem De Kooning (b. April 24, 1904)

Mother, mater, matter. Note the lack of feet, of locomotion, in the primitive female generative principal. My first dream in Jungian analysis was of a lady too fat to stand, in the parking lot of a supermarket, a group of us trying to help her up. My analyst, a sharp old thing now deceased named Greta van Fenema, (who knew Jung, gray hair in a bun, slacks), leaped to a high bookshelf and took down a volume with a large picture of the Willendorf Venus (11,000 years younger than the one pictured above). She explained my thralldom to the Great Mother archetype, and all the deplorable psychological and behavioral consequences ensuing.

 

Tuesday
May122009

cy twombly Taurus art 1.09

 

Like the Taurus artist Yves Klein, who restricted himself to working entirely with one stone -- lapis lazuli pigment,  Cy Twombly (b. 25 April 1928) obsessively explores essentially dumb material, now differentiated into two (Gemini) stones, slate and chalk, representing the possibility of communicative meaning (writing) as yet contentless. In the work below, he pays hommage to Taurus's tutelary deity, in numerous communication systems. 

Saturday
May092009

Taurus Bull's Eye (1.08)

Jasper Johns, TargetAnecdote of two Tauruses: Mme de Stael, notorious conversational bulldozer, extorted four words from the famously taciturn Duke of Wellington ("who was scarcely known to speak"). 'Let me go away,' he cried, on hearing her announced. (in V. Woolf, Books and Portraits ) Illustrates the physical, Taurean principle that two material objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.

Wednesday
Apr292009

Taurus art 1.07

Jasper Johns, b. May 15, 1930: the homogenous Taurean physicality of the sculp-metal substance  negates the on-off binarism, the communicative Geminian essence of the light bulb. Always in Johns's work there is a reductive interplay of signal and substance, yet, despite the reduction, the stubborn physical integrity and sensuous materiality evokes multileveled reflective meaning.

Tuesday
Apr282009

Aries/Taurus cusp

 Reflect that this Aries/Taurus cusp is the site of the great crisis of modern primitivism, modern solipsism, materialist despair: births of Hitler and Lenin. The two simplest, densest signs butt heads. Where the impetuous, irresistible force of Aries, fleeing the entrapping womb of Pisces, still filled with dreams, encounters the immovable reality of Taurus -- there can be much gnashing of teeth.

 

Sunday
Apr262009

Taurus art 1.05

A Taurus bull-etin pre-empts my planned programming.

I was going to post a massive Buddha. Did you know He is said to have been born, and to have achieved Enlightenment under the sign of Taurus? More pertinently, no restless seeking for Him: He declared he would sit under this one banyan tree until Enlightenment came, and so He did, they say, for thirty years. Stubborn.

 

Saturday
Apr252009

Taurus art 1.04

"Jill" (1959) enamel on canvas, 7'6"x6'6" Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo

Frank Stella (b. 12 May 1936) took up large monochromatic canvases in the late fifties, around the same time as Yves Klein, but with the consistent organizing motif of the stripe, rather than the single Kleinian pigment  

" . . . binary, cruciform or concentric symmetries create an unworldly, hypnotic fixity, as of immutable, venerated emblems."


Friday
Apr242009

Taurus art 1.03

O Bull, return!

Taurus wants the concrete, the real. Here is one of the first substantive projects of astrological research to come out of digital data power.  Test Produces Significant Result for Astrology in World News Report. According to researcher Richard Schulz, the astrological outlook for the global economic situation is bleak.

But take heart: the nature of astrological prediction is to be incorrect. That's why it's such a delight when an astrological prediction comes true. It is the historical role of astrology to continually produce critique, challenge and failure. It is the Sisyphean science, to invoke another Taurean reference. Anyway, fixed earth Taurus is grounded in the unchanging. The Bull Tauruas always returns, or rather never really leaves;  the powerful energy of human productivity, labor, value, capital, all responses to natural, objective necessity--the World, all proceed and harness the subjective explosion of Aries.


Thursday
Apr232009

Taurus Art 1.02

Norham Castle, Sunrise (c. 1845)

One of Turner's most popular paintings, it was never exhibited in his lifetime, and may be unfinished, yet is taken now to be one of his most characteristic works. The Taurean cows incorporate the elemental  massiveness of castle, sun, water and air.

 "Turner never lost his connection to reality. One of the last, semiabstract paintings in the show’s final gallery is a sunrise view of Norham Castle. . . . Amid its gorgeous smudges of blue castle, yellow sun and pale ochre shores are two cows, faint but definite, who have come for their morning drink.   New York Times

Wednesday
Apr222009

Taurus Art 1.0

Yves Klein (28 April 1928 - 1962). His "search . .  for the realization of matter" led to his fanciful commitment to a single color, the patented International Klein Blue, a mineral (lapis) pigment. Most of Klein's work is conceptual, abstract or geo-metric. Rarely, and only with tongue in cheek, did he descend to the mimetic or iterative, those being the province of the next sign, Gemini. His Globe reclaims Earth from history and language, and presents it as a mounted physical specimen, a planetary body. Venus is, of course, also a body, as well as the planetary ruler of Taurus, as fertility and the senses are bestirred out of the passive Earth.



 

Tuesday
Apr212009

Aries-Taurus cusp (#30)

The cusps are controversial. Although the word usually denotes a precise demarcation, I like to use it to describe the range of relationships, from antithesis to blending, which exist between adjacent zodiacal signs, a range that implicitly permeates even the purest expression of a sign. As the tropical and siderial zodiacs approach complete overlap, many new and penetrating truths are cuspal in nature.

The tragic sacrificial splendor of the corrida ritualizes the first zodiacal crisis of Self, where Aries encounters Taurus: freedom-craving spirit encounters material necessity, the obdurate World. The bull is color-blind, and it's the movement that he reacts to; it is the human participants in the corrida who react to the red color. More red even than the capote (which is in fact usually magenta) is the copious blood, the blood-soaked hide, that makes the point. The next, Taurus / Gemini, cusp is summond in the gesture of the stinging picadors and the banderillos, or the legend of the gadfly. The fixed earth principle provokes attack from both sides --

Sunday
Apr192009

Chaplin Red Flagged (#29)

In this memorable scene, he picks up a red warning flag that has fallen off the back of a wagon, and finds himself inadvertantly at the forefront of a revolutionalry riot. Red has been the color of revolution since the bloody Reign of Terror.

Robert Downey, Jr. also an Aries (4 April 1965) portryed him.

 

 

 

 

 

Warren Beatty has already been cited as an example of Aries priapism; recently the number of his "conquests"has been extimated at 13,000. His most important movie project was the epic film REDS, which he wrote, produced, directed and starred in, and for which he won the Best Director Oscar

Aries pairings in movies are fun: Beatty and Julie Christie, McQueen and Ali McGraw (especially when they both spontaneously jump into the pond after he's released from prison), Steven Seagal and Kelly LeBrock already mentioned, Crawford and Davis. Surely a good deal of the intensity of THE GODFATHER is attributable to the presence of a gaggle of Aries natives: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard Conte, Sterling Hayden, and Francis Coppola himself -- all Aries.

We could talk as long as we like about the Aries influence in Charlie Chaplin, the prototype of the 20c. Subject. Notice his perpetual parody of Aries masculinity. Soldier, cop, boxer, Casanova, caveman, strongman, hero. 

  I just ran across aather different picture of the actor than we are used to, as a violent, tyrannical sociopath: ".....Chaplin is the lost twin of Adolf Hitler. Peter Ackroyd almost suggests as much. Both men first drew breath in April 1889. They had drunken fathers and nervous mothers. There were patterns of madness and illegitimacy in the family tree. They were short and sported an identical moustache. They had marked histrionic skills, each man ‘appealing to millions of people with an almost mesmeric magic’. They were despotic towards underlings — and Chaplin’s The Great Dictator is less political satire than back-handed homage. Hitler watched it at a private screening — twice. 
….. Lenin said that ‘Chaplin is the only man in the world I want to meet.’ [Lenin and Hitleer, both Aries]
…..The theme of Ackroyd’s biography of Chaplin is the alarming contrast between the sweetness of the Little Tramp, the saviour of fallen women and lost children, and the monstrousness of Chaplin himself, who came across to every single person who ever met him as difficult, suspicious and angry. ….. Robert Florey, an assistant director, called him a ‘tyrannical, wounding, authoritative, mean, despotic man’. ….. ‘The violence of his anger was always so out of proportion to the object that had stirred him that I couldn’t help being frightened of it,’ said one of his sons.

Hannah, Chaplin’s mother….was certainly a lunatic. Records show she was incarcerated in various asylums, put in a padded cell and given shock treatments. ….. He survived, he said, by being suffused with ‘the exuberance that comes from utter confidence in yourself. Without it, you go down in defeat.’ Hence, his demonic arrogance; ….. 

    ‘Charlie married me and then he forgot all about me,’ was a frequent complaint cited in divorce hearings. He was always off chasing fresher meat, painting his private parts with iodine to ward off the clap. Louise Brooks was terrified to see his ‘bright red erection’ coming at her in the dark. 

…..As a director he was a dictator: ‘Do this, do not do that, look this way, walk like this, now do it over.’ He’d shoot 36,000 feet of negative and print 1,800 feet of it. He ordered 342 takes over a two-year period of a single shot in City Lights — the blind flower-seller handing over a bunch of violets to the Little Tramp. Was this perfectionism? A manifestation of obsessive compulsive disorder? Or was he behaving like a simple power-crazed brute? 
….. His sexual scandals, as revealed in numerous paternity suits, upset morality……Monsieur Verdoux, about a dapper Edwardian-era serial killer. is based on Landru, the famous French Bluebeard, also an Aries (12 April 1869

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