Friday, May 11, 2012

Arty Farty Friday ~ 3 Photo-realist Painters with Taurean and Other Astro-similarities: Richard Estes, Robert Bechtle, Ralph Goings.

Social and political changes happening in the USA from the mid-1960s into the 1970s affected artists in different ways. One group challenged abstract art and modernism by going in an exactly opposite direction - a return to realism. It wasn't simple realism though, but sharp, highly detailed photo realism or hyper-realism. These artists looked to the ordinary for their subjects, to everyday motifs and common experiences of "the man/woman in the street"....seeking, finding and opening the viewer's eyes to beauty in the mundane.
(Left: a still life study by Ralph Goings)

It isn't surprising to me to find that three leading American photorealist painters, all still with us as far as I know, have natal Suns in Taurus, two were born on the same day of the same year!

Richard Estes, born 14 May 1932, Kewanee, Illinois.
Robert Bechtle, also born 14 May 1932, San Francisco, Ca.
Ralph Goings, born 9 May 1928, Corning, Ca.

(Richard Estes has already been featured individually in an archived post.)

I'm interested, here, to compare the three natal charts first, then offer a couple of examples the work of each. Charts set for 12 noon - times of birth unknwn.




Could this common attraction to realism be seen in their natal charts?

Sun in Earthy, feet-on-the-ground Taurus, ruled by arty Venus is a start, but not enough. Estes and Bechtle have Mars in Taurus too, and rebellious Uranus in semi-sextile to Sun. This mild streak of the rebel in them could have facilitated the turning away from abstract art and modernism, so beloved of art critics at that time.

Both would have Moon in Virgo whatever time they were born - here is the urge for meticulous perfection so apparent in their work.

In both charts there's a Yod (Finger of Fate) linking Venus in Cancer (art and beauty) to Neptune in Virgo (creativity and meticulousness) in a helpful sextile, with both linked to realistic, structured Saturn in Aquarius by quincunx aspect. I read that as an almost perfect description of what Richard Estes and Robert Bechtle produce in their artwork. Artistic, meticulous and creative skills chanelled through a structured (Saturn) and somewhat intellectual (Aquarius) medium. Neptune's involvement has a double significance too - as Neptune connects closely to photography.

The first two charts are almost identical - main difference would be in the rising sign, which we cannot know without times of birth.

Ralph Goings, though born 4 years and 5 days years earlier than the previous pair has certain similarities chart-wise.

Sun Venus and Mercury all in Venus-ruled arty but Earthy and reality-centered Taurus, with - here again - Uranus the rebel planet in semi-sextile to a personal planet - this time it's arty Venus.

Moon would have been in Earthy Capricorn whatever his time of birth - another link to realism - Capricorn is nothing if not realistic. Capricorn's ruler, Saturn is at the apex of a Yod here also, not the same Yod as in the case of Estes and Goings though. Here Saturn at the Yod's apex links to Sun and Pluto, the key is realistic and disciplined Saturn at its apex.

So....there are strong similarities in the three charts. It's time for me to say, once again:"Something is going on here, but we don't know what it is, do we, Mr. Jones?"

2 by Richard Estes

2 by Robert Bechtle

2 by Ralph Goings

Further examples of their work can be found via Google Image. Ralph Goings' own website is HERE.


JD said...

..but is it art?

Twilight said...

JD ~~ I think so. As Professor Joad would have said, "Depends what you mean by art." ;-)

Wisewebwoman said...

Love this, T!
The picture at the end is so like a restaurant (diner) my family and I frequent for breakfast (served 24-7)in Toronto, completely unchanged for about 50 years down to the grouchy waiter/cook.

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~ Good!
I like that one too, and the Airstream trailer - whenever we see one of these on the road I admire it and wish I could have a peek inside. Both that and the diner are a big part of the USA that I missed by not arriving before 2004. :-)