Previews for a Georgia O'Keeffe movie began being shown in late August on the Lifetime network. I began receiving emails, phone calls, notes and reminders from my friends, family and beyond. Even my students' parents were alerting me of this great artist's documentary film to be shown on September 19. Wow! I really felt the love from everyone and knew that I had shared possibly a few times how much I honor and appreciate the work of Georgia O'Keeffe.
Last night was the night of the movie and I set my Tivo to tape and tried to stay up but I only caught about half of it and watched the rest this morning. It was great because it really depicted what a strong painter O'Keeffe was.
I felt like it really encapsulated a small part of her life and wished that it had showed a little broader range of her life as it focused on the relationship she had with her husband, photographer, Alfred Stieglitz.
I really loved seeing the relationship blossom between Stieglitz and O'Keeffe in the darkroom. He was teaching her the process and the seeing him mix the chemicals made me nostalgic of my favorite darkroom times printing my own negatives. It was the "magic" of the darkroom.
In time, he really saw O'Keeffe and saw her true beauty. She told him that her mother was embarrassed by Georgia's appearance and had her hide in a closet when guests came. This was so sad to me. I think everyone has beauty and that's what art is all about. Finding the beauty in all things, including people.
The photograph below is one of many that Stieglitz took of O'Keeffe and it is my favorite photograph of all time. It is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and I could look at it for hours and never tire of it. This is real beauty and a true portrait. Just look at the lines and shapes, the way the space is broken up. Ahhh... I love it!!!
Joan Allen played Georgia in the movie and I was so impressed by how her profile resembled O'Keeffe's. She did a great job portraying what a strong woman Georgia O'Keeffe really was. We saw Georgia burning her drawings that she did not like. That was a strong statement to make if you really do not like your work. Alfred tells her that the public has a "fear of color" but Georgia did not share that fear and she continually created bold bright shapes and reflected upon the beauty she found in nature.
One of the things that I have always loved about Georgia O'Keeffe is that she never let fear stop her from what she wanted to do. She admitted to having fears but continually worked through them. I love the courage of female artists working and painting strong paintings in the early 1900's.
I always noticed that O'Keeffe was photographed and depicted wearing such dark colors and I could never understand that. People in the movie noted that she looked like a nun because she was always dressed so darkly and in largely draped fabrics. I find this ironic because of her great use of color in her work. I love using color in my paintings and my wardrobe reflects my love for color everyday.
O'Keeffe spent most of her life painting in New Mexico. She met and lived with Alfred in New York City but was she was in the city she told Alfred that she "missed the sky: in the city.
One line of the movie that I did not like or agree with but was a real sign of the times was, "Work does not become art until some rich person comes along and buys it." Wow! This is clearly not true today. There are people making art daily and the most important value is that of which the artist places on it.
Overall, it was a great movie and I am glad to have seen it. I thank all out there who reminded me and notified me of this a tribute to an amazing artist, my favorite artist, Georgia O'Keeeffe.
"By the time of her death, in 1986, she was 98 years old and was the most significant female painter in history." I still believe this to be true. She is so well known and her work will live on forever.
Be Well and Enjoy!