In the news era we live in currently, it's pretty easy to log on to anything and see a story that will make you sad. If you see a story about women, it is rarely one that gives you a good rush of endorphin's. If you can get those endorphin's running, it isn't long until something comes along to stop them up. Women rarely get to be heroes in the media-- and we don't like that at all. Women rarely get to be heroes in the art word too, and we don't like that either. So today, on November 15th, we'd like the celebrate an amazing woman. This marks the birthday of a miraculous artist, pioneer, and trailblazer: Georgia O'Keeffe.
While many have vaguely heard about her vivid works of abstraction, floral patterns, and New Mexico landscapes; her true accomplishments remain shrouded by the fact that her art is used to speak for her person instead of her person being used to speak for her person. We wanted to change that. Georgia O'Keeffe is a representative of what it means to be a phenomenal woman, artist, and creative. Her legacy is one that should be celebrated just as much as the colors and shapes she put on canvas.
O'Keeffe was born in 1887 and lived to the amazing age of 98, passing in 1986. She saw everything from the rise of suffrage, the end of Jim Crow, two world wars, and the Cold War. In many ways, she lived a life through time so vast that it seems amazing that it could even be possible. Her art too took the same cues from the life she lived, ever-changing, and ever growing. While many of you may know O'Keeffe for her work with florals and landscapes, she ventured through many phases with her work, including charcoal, watercolor, and illustration. She even continued to create after she only had her peripheral vision left, a time of her life that saw her write an autobiography and create a watercolor series.
PHOTO FROM THE ART GORGEOUS: http://www.theartgorgeous.com
She has won the National Medal for The Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She has taught at multiple institutions and been the art chair head of several-- yet sadly many people connect O'Keeffe to her work in a way that erases the amazing life she lived. At a time, she was the highest paid female commercial artist in New York and she is, by all means, the mother of American Modernism. In history books and feminist theory classes, she is labeled as a painter who captured a Freudian look on life through flowers and ram skulls-- but that could not be farther from the case. O'Keeffe is one of the first American artists to work with and establish the idea of what "abstract" was to be for the generation of creatives around her. She worked not from repetition or copy, but from interpretation and feeling, seeing her work through a prism and allowing it to exist as a unique version of its true self.
The Georgia O'Keeffe museum claims that she is one of the first American artists to practice abstraction-- a claim that should not be taken lightly. O'Keeffe is the mother of an artistic legacy many of us don't seem to even recognize. Without her, and the artists she surrounded herself with, much of the art we find so glorious may not exist in the capacity that it happens to today. To speak to the fact that we are a brand that revels in post Modernism, we could not have gotten here with outstanding on the shoulders of giants. Georgia O'Keeffe is one of those giants.
Georgia O'Keeffe, at her trust, was an amazing woman who made incredibly potent art; so potent and so diverse that she is the mother of an entire era. Happy birthday, Ms. O'Keeffe; here on Dec 9th, we admire all you've done for womankind, artist-kind, and creative-kind. It's our hope that remembering your legacy through your vivacious art will help us brighten the gloomier news of our day.
While there are no originals of her work currently on display in Los Angeles, there is a portrait of her down by her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, at the Getty Center. We highly encourage our readers to go pay it a visit, and even sing her happy birthday. She deserves it for sure.