EASTmeetsWEST Astrological Personality Portraits, a series of twelve books, came from a commissioned artwork project that took over three years to complete. It gives the viewer a contemporary perspective of the creativity of six artists – John D. Abel, Ken Goldman, Analise Rigan, Andre Rushing, Thierry Chatelain, and Stephanie Goldman – through the popular and historic astrological framework of the twelve Eastern Chinese animal years of birth combined with the twelve Western zodiac signs. It has been a challenge to these visual artists to pique the interest of the patrons of fine art, as well as the general public, through the appeal of this allegorical imagery in astrological personality portraitures.
An astrological personality portrait is an allegorical body of information both individual and global in scope. It is designed to reveal facts about our deeper natures as well as our inter-actions with other individuals, with society, and with the larger forces that are at work in the universe. We all seek to know ourselves and each other better and to gain some clues that will help us smoothly pave the way of our choices, helping us facilitate our passage through life. That is what these personality portraits seek to provide.
Ironically, however, it does so by addressing chance. Astrology applies the date of a subject’s birth to a set of predetermined characteristics. Thus it is the chance of birth that determines much of what is true about our basic natures.
In creating these personality profiles, there are two independent systems of astrology from which to draw information. People are classified in the East by an animal, which rules their year of birth, and in the West by the planets and stars and their exact positions at the time of our birth. This means that we have two very different bodies of knowledge which, when combined, enhance each other in strength and clarity.