Friday, August 03, 2018

Arty Farty Friday ~ George Tooker & Modern Anxieties

"George Tooker (August 5, 1920 - March 27, 2011) was an American figurative painter. He was raised by his Anglo/French-American father and English/Spanish-Cuban mother in Brooklyn Heights and Bellport, New York. His works are associated with the Magic realism and Social realism movements. Tooker addressed affecting issues of modern-day alienation with subtly eerie and often visually literal depictions of social withdrawal and isolation. Luminous, haunting and poetic, his paintings often conveyed a sense of dread, but could just as easily express a lover's rapture or spiritual ecstasy. Whatever the emotion, his generalized figures, with their smoothly modeled sculptural forms and mask-like faces, seemed to dwell outside of time, even when placed in contemporary settings. He was one of the most distinctive and mysterious American painters of the 20th century."
(From the text accompanying the following 7 minute overview of many of Tooker's paintings.)

From Wikipedia
His works focus on love, death, sex, grief, aging, alienation, and religious faith. He devoted numerous paintings to a single theme, investigating many possible variations to fully express the complex ideas conveyed. Tooker grew up in an affluent family, and his work reflects both his privilege and his empathy for those with less

Personal life
In 1960, Tooker and his partner, painter William Christopher (March 4, 1924 – December 5, 1973), moved into a house they had built in Hartland, Vermont. He was involved in the Civil Rights Movement and participated in one of the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965. He taught at the Art Students League of New York from 1965 to 1968. He spent his winters in Málaga, Spain. A few years after Christopher's death, Tooker converted to Catholicism. His faith was very important to him, as he was very much involved with his local church.

ASTROLOGY (briefly)

Born 5 August 1920, New York. Chart set for 12 noon as time of birth unknown.

Given Tooker's concern in matters of social deprivation and his recorded empathy for those who struggled, I wondered if there'd be a wee bit of Aquarius input, but there is none. Where I see his concern and empathy strongly reflected is in his natal Mercury in Cancer, and the Grand Trine in Water signs linking natal Mars in Scorpio to Pluto in Cancer and Uranus in Pisces. The Grand Trine forms a kind of harmonious circuit; when linking Water signs it indicates an individual who has an unusual depth of feeling and empathy for others - nurturing, unconscious aspects of human nature are emphasised.

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