I’ve made a new edition of talisman shirts featuring Venus in Libra. Venus is the planet that rules love, beauty, and art; in the Air sign of Libra, aesthetic pleasure and harmony in relationships is emphasized. Relationship here encompasses all of its various forms: between lovers, between friends, between self and cosmos, or between an artist and their artwork. These talismans were created to harness Venus in Libra’s strong social magnetism, and to promote a sense of ease, flow and pleasure in relationships of all kinds. Especially important for artists, Venus here places an emphasis on intellectual pleasures as well as refining one’s personal aesthetic vision. Because Libra is oriented towards balance and equilibrium, there is also an emphasis on the intersection of beauty and justice.
The artists Hilma af Klint, Ana Mendieta, and Rosie Lee Tompkins all have Venus in Libra. While each artist’s work is visually distinct, some of the shared qualities for artists with Venus in Libra might be something like:
A RECLAMATION OF BEAUTY AS A BIRTH RIGHT ,
THE PURSUIT OF BEAUTY AS AN ACT OF JUSTICE THAT RESTORES HARMONY BEWEEN SELF AND OTHER (HUMAN, THE NATURAL WORLD, OR THE DIVINE)
Ana Mendieta, Untitled (from the Silueta series), 1973-1977
Following a violent uprooting from her native Cuba, Ana Mendieta’s early life was spent being shuttled from one adoptive family to the next. Her desire to reclaim a sense of connection to place is evident in her series titled Siluetas, which she began at age 25. This body of work, which consists of photographs of ephemeral gestures she’d perform alone in nature, can be seen as a restoration of harmony between herself and the place she considered her true spiritual home — the natural world.
Rosie Lee Tompkins, String, 1985
Rosie Lee Tompkins was the pseudonym for Effie May Howard, an artist who wished to remain anonymous in the art world to protect what she saw a sacred practice: quilting. Her improvisational, colorful quilts are the material language for an intimate connection that she felt with the divine. It was also a way to express her love for those close to her, as her quilts often catalogued important names, dates and addresses. For a woman who who grew up in the racist, Jim Crow-era South, the mere act of creating something beautiful was also a kind of protest, and a means to enact justice.
Hilma af Klint, The Ten Largest, No. 6, 1907
For Hilma af Klint, painting was also an act of communion with the divine. After ten years of practicing mediumship and communicating with a group of beings whom she called the High Ones, she was prompted by these spirits to begin a series called Paintings for the Temple. This series, which grew to include 193 paintings, occupied her for almost ten years. Hilma saw herself as a channel, and she saw her artworks as a means to fulfill a kind of spiritual duty. Remarkably, although the Temple was never built, Hilma's sketches of it bear a great resemblance to the Guggenheim museum, where she had her first U.S. retrospective in 2019.
Hilma af Klint, Sketch for the Temple, 1903