Friday, April 23, 2010

Arty Farty Friday ~Bodies by Duane Hanson & Kiki Smith

Two American artist/sculptors this week: two who portray human forms in all their glory, but in very different styles. They were born a generation apart, one on 17 January 1925 the other on 18 January 1954. Both have a good helping of Capricorn in their astrological makeup.

Duane Hanson and Kiki Smith.
First the art, then the astrology -

Hanson was son of a dairy farmer, graduated from an Art Academy and went on to teach. Began to sculpt in 1965. Initially his work portrayed violent situations: motorcycle accident victims, soldiers in battle, policemen and rioters (as a form of social comment?) He soon moved on to mirror tourists, workers, shoppers and ordinary people doing ordinary things. His work comes in lifesize. Hanson died in 1996.

Duane Hanson's sculptures draw from the everyday life of everyday people - very lifelike. Photo-realism is the relevant ism here.

Kiki Smith's sculptures are surreal, less understandable (to me anyway!)

She was born into art - father a sculptor, mother an opera singer.

Wikipedia: "Her Body Art is imbued with political significance, undermining the traditional erotic representations of women by male artists, and often exposes the inner biological systems of females as a metaphor for hidden social issues. Her work also often includes the theme of birth and regeneration, sustenance, and frequently has Catholic allusions. Smith has also been active in debate over controversies such as AIDS, gender, race, and battered women. In the mid-nineties, she began to engage with themes from literature, history, and folklore, reinterpreting biblical and mythological women as inhabitants of resolutely physical bodies. More recently, her vocabulary has expanded to include animals, the cosmos, and the natural world."


Both charts are set for 12 noon as times of birth aren't known. The ascendant sign and Moon degrees will be inaccurate.
(Click on charts to enlarge).

I was tickled to find their natal Suns at the same degree (27) of Capricorn. Capricorn is the cardinal Earth sign, practical and realistic. Duane Hanson had Sun, Mercury Venus and Jupiter in Capricorn - the more realistic of the two in style. Kiki Smith has Sun and Venus in Capricorn with Mercury nextdoor in more avant garde Aquarius reflecting her surrealistic style. Uranus (the unexpected, the rebel) in Cancer is opposite her Sun/Venus challenging the realism of Capricorn. Both artists have Saturn in Scorpio and Mars in one of its own signs (Scorpio or Aries). In Hanson's case this connects to his early attraction to depicting violence. In Smith's case I'm not sure - probably links more to her political stances.


Wisewebwoman said...

Excellent choices T! I love Kiki's work, centred as so many female artists on our common historic pain of the underdog.
As to Duane, his realism is awesome, but would I hang him on my walls? No.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ I wouldn't want an example of either artist as home decor - not really (I could always sell it to become the foundation of my fortune though, I guess. ;-)

I enjoy the contrasting styles of the two sculptors. Duane, as well as being a talented artist, had to have had a very shrewd eye and understanding of human nature. I admire that a lot. :-)

Anonymous said...

Sculptor is not spelled "sculpter"!!!! Really!!

Twilight said...

Anonymous - Yes, "really!!" - typographical errors do happen and do get by me at times!
Amended - thanks.