The artist Louise Bourgeois was the Capricorn’s Capricorn – an embodiment of endurance, style, and wisdom. Born on Christmas Day in 1911, she was working, painting, sculpting, and writing in her journals right up until the day she passed, in 2010.
Every day, she said, you have to choose whether to abandon or accept your past. If you can’t do either, become an artist. Art was her “guarantee of sanity” but she revered the immutable laws of mathematics. Numbers are both magic and reassuring to Capricorns.
Although she was super prolific – the Museum of Modern Art alone has over 3000 of her works – Bourgeois did not become well-known until her 70s. An insomniac and a lover of silence, she described herself as a ‘long-distance runner’ – “I’m a lonely runner and that’s how I like it.” Not that she was a recluse – there were salons where she would give the young artists who could handle it an honest critique of their work and from the Eighties onward the increasing media and art world demands that came with success.
But she fought for the space she needed to do her best work and accomplish her super-Capricornian goal of always bettering her former work. One of her most famous works is a riff on Saturn, the ruling planet of Capricorn, in which she conflates him with her abusive father. Her absolutely most renowned work is called Maman or Mother, a tribute to – yes – her mother, who was a weaver. It is a giant spider sculpture with a mantra attached: I do – I undo – I redo.
She was actually a quadruple Capricorn, born with the Sun conjunct Mercury Retrograde, Lilith and Uranus in Capricorn. Her Ascendant and Moon were Aquarius, making Saturn her ruling planet, thus emphasizing her Capricorn nature even more. Her Saturn was in Taurus, opposite Venus and square her Ascendant.
It’s a difficult config, reflected in her early life experiences, but really I cannot think a better way to work with this than creating grand-scale sculptures and cathartic artworks. That they also made her such a success is fantastic ‘revenge.’
“Memory is a form of architecture,” she said.