Friday, January 15, 2010

Arty Farty Friday ~ Francis Picabia

I originally planned to feature Sun Capricorn artist Cezanne today, but found him a wee bit boring so looked further afield. I found Francis Picabia, whose Sun lay just beyond Capricorn in early Aquarius. What a difference a few degrees make! Picabia certainly wasn't boring. In fact, for someone with 5, maybe 6 planets in Fixed signs, he was extremely flexible, style-wise. He's said to have been something of a playboy and lover of fast cars. As my husband commented on looking at the samples of his work below: "he had a sense of humour too!" His artwork covers most of the art style -isms of his time, and there were many: realism, impressionism, cubism orphism, surrealism, as well as Dada and abstract (without the -ism).

Born 22 January 1879 in Paris, France. Time of birth is unknown so a 12 noon chart is shown here.
Rising sign will not be as shown, and Moon's possible degree ranges between 25 Capricorn and 8 Aquarius.

Two quotes from Francis Picabia reflect his Aquarian side, and his attraction to change :
A free spirit takes liberties even with liberty itself.

A new gadget that lasts only five minutes is worth more than an immortal work that bores everyone.
As well as painting, Picabia wrote poetry, articles and did design work for the theater and festivals.

This was not an artist born into poverty, yet his childhood wasn't ideal. His mother died when he was seven years old, then his maternal grandmother died a year later. His father, chancellor to the Cuban Embassy, his uncle, a curator, and grandfather, wealthy businessman were his family, growing up. He is described as being "an aggressively independent character" - Aquarius in a nutshell?

Picabia had a Grand Trine in Earth signs in his chart, linking Mercury(communication), Uranus (innovation, change and his Sun's ruler) and Neptune (creativity). Hmmmm - I should know what this signifies because I have a similar Grand Trine in my own chart, linking the Earth signs and planets, though in different order . In Picabia's case I think this relates to his attraction to variety and change in creative endeavours, but because the link is in Earth signs changes would have been well-thought out, deliberate progressions rather than risky, flighty whims.

Francis Picabia died on 30 November 1953.

There's an excellent blog article on this artist HERE.
Picabia's love of change and variety can be seen clearly in the examples of his work, below:

Port de St. Tropez, Effet de Soleil

Farm at La Petite Mare

Nude Back

Two Nudes

The Procession, Seville

I See Again in Memory My Dear Udnie

Parade Amoureuse (....supposed to be about sex!)



The Handsome Pork Butcher

Star Dancer on a Transatlantic Steamer

Portrait of a Doctor

Sotileza [Subtlety]



R J Adams said...

What do you mean - "....supposed to be about sex!" it's unimaginably erotic; a veritable cascade of sensuality!
I'm surprised you can't see it.


Anonymous said...

Ah, thank you for that, Picabia is one of my favorite artists. There is a particularly nice painting of his at the Chicago Art Institute, I travel about 250 miles to see it, on a regular basis.
Alas, you probably should have omitted his later figurative paintings (the first few ones you posted) as they are rather embarrassing (IMHO) for such a radical artist. I think he just sold these to make money, coasting off his reputation as an early Dadaist. They certainly aren't anything special, by figure painting standards.

Twilight said...

RJ ~~~ Hmmmm. My husband made a similar comment when I showed it to him....something along the lines: "I keep telling you - to us men, everything is about sex".

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~~ Hi there.
I can understand why a fan of his more radical work would feel as you do. :-)

My intention was to illustrate the range of his talent though, and the fact that he seemd to glory in its variety - for whatever reason - as you say, it could well have been $$$$$.

I admire all his facets, but I'm not an expert. I simply like what I like - and I do rather like everything I've seen of Picabia's.
He seems like a breath of fresh air. :-)

anyjazz said...

Your Arty Farty Friday series gets high marks. Just when we think we have seen it all, you give us a fresh look. Thanks!

Wisewebwoman said...

Bewitching, as usual, T.
I am particularly taken with the woman shown in 3 of the pics, (a)was it the same model, I wonder and (b) it seems like he was in love with her.

anthonynorth said...

Another artist I've never heard of, but I like the work you've shown - I can see sensuality and humour in it, too.
By the way, I have to disagree about everything being about sex with men. We take a second off every minute :-)

Twilight said...

anyjazz - Thanks! I'm glad.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ I didn't see anything touching on his models' identities, but he had several ladies in his life at different times. About the nudes, the article I linked says:

These works include visual sources from popular imagery: bigger-than-life screen stars, pin-ups from the 1930’s “nudie” magazines, decadent or romanticized couples, providing a particularly startling contrast to this gray war period.

He seemd to like to paint women together, which was something of a departure from the norm in nude painting, then, I guess.

Twilight said...

anthonynorth ~~ Glad you enjoyed the pics - LOL! - 59 seconds out of each minute ! That does account for a lot of what goes on in the world !