Spotlight on O’Keefe
Size: 47” x 40 1/4″
Medium: Pigment Print
Edition Size: 75
Hand Touched: N/A
This statement print is a tribute to the mother of American Modernism, Georgia O’Keeffe.
In 1921, famed photographer and gallery owner Alfred Stieglitz exhibited nude photographs of O’Keeffe, which created a public sensation. O’Keefe spent her life distancing herself from them and felt they had nothing do with her personally. O’Keeffe was searching for a spiritual home where she could be herself. She found it in New Mexico, and permanently moved there in 1949.
Her legacy is her striking, magnified flower paintings. The absence of context presented a new perspective to viewers as pure abstracts. O’Keeffe made it her mission to shift the public eye away from the nude and toward these delicate blooms. She painted flowers on a huge scale to make the public see them whether they wanted to or not. She placed her courage in painting flowers so big that one could not ignore its beauty. O’Keeffe was the first female artist to have a retrospective at Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. In 2014, O’Keeffe’s 1932 painting Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 sold for over 44 million dollars ,more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist. Her home has been converted to a museum in Abiquiu, New Mexico.
Inspired by her painting entitled, Oriental Poppies (1928), the petals in this composition are bold, with a dazzling orange color. The hollowed center and the inner contours of the flowers painted in yellow and speckled red, act as spotlights. These spotlight flowers all position toward the nude figure on the urn representing the photographed nude body of O’Keeffe. The stems sprout out of the urn and enclose her, as if they are insulating her individuality. The purple aura surrounding the urn symbolizes her soul’s liberating connection to nature.