Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe is considered not only an honored artist, but a symbol and idol of the feminist movement. While she never proclaimed these ideals, people considered her thus because she became such a proclaimed and often exhibited female artist in a male dominated art scene. It may also have something to do with the fact that, to anyone who has ever gotten a peek up a skirt can tell you, her close up paintings of flowers look uncannily like a woman’s….private parts. Though, she denied these perceived attributes of her art.

She was born in Wisconsin in 1887, the second of seven children, to a mother who had once aspired to be a doctor and thus encouraged her children to become well educated. So, O’Keeffe had a built in cheering squad for her success.

O’Keeffe attended the Art Institute of Chicago after high school. While she was at the top of her class, she contracted typhoid fever and was forced to take a year off. In 1907 she got back into the flow when she went to New York City to take classes at the Art Students League, learning realist painting. When her mother fell ill in 1908, she was forced to stop attending classes due to finances, and returned to Chicago to work as a commercial artist. In 1910 she went to live with her family in Virginia. She did not let circumstances keep her work at bay, however, and in 1912 she attended summer school at the University of Virginia.

Through her classes, her interactions with other artists, such as Columbia professor Arthur Wesley Dow, and later her teaching, especially at Columbia College in South Carolina, the exposure to different perspectives in art she gained lended itself to her transition from realism to more abstract art. Some of her most famous works with this new perspective were her “zoomed in” paintings of flowers. She wanted people to take notice of their beauty, so she said, “I’ll paint what I see…but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it.” But clearly, from their undeniable resemblance to lady parts, her vision seemed to be of more than just petals and stems. One of these pieces, Pansy, done in 1926, has been in my life a long time now. My sister always had it hanging in her place. It is one of her favorite works of art. “It reminds me of a woman,” my sister said. “The small, delicate flower on top is the part of a woman that everyone wants to admire and touch. But the bigger petals at the bottom are the dark parts beneath that no one wants to see or deal with.” O’Keeffe at one point said, “I feel there is something unexplored about woman that only a woman can explore.” And boy, did she explore it. She got all up in there and explored it hard!

Pansy, 1926

Pansy, 1926

O’Keeffe had an affair with a married man who later left his wife for her. The man who became her husband in 1924, Alfred Stieglitz, gave her her first solo exhibit in a studio in New York City in 1917. The very non-feminist aspect of this whole relationship was that it may have looked like, since he was 23 years older than her, a sort of “sugar daddy” scenario. I mean, what ever happened to that strong female line, “I don’t need a man.” However, despite his age, and the fact that he moved her to New York, paid her rent, and had her art shown, it would seem that they were also genuinely enamoured of each other. Stieglitz was a photographer. He considered his young bride his “muse” and took over 300 photos of her, many of them nudes. They were racy and modern for the time, though none of them were as close up or in as great detail as her flower paintings. Good thing….that would have been incredibly awkward. Thanks to these photos, her face became as iconic as her art. The couple lived in New York City, where O’Keeffe took a liking to painting city skylines in works such as, American Radiator Building {1927}. They lived their summers in Lake George, NY (local shoutout!).

Radiator Building, 1927

Radiator Building, 1927

Before Stieglitz passed away, he had an affair with a female photographer he was mentoring. I guess he decided he wanted someone even younger. Though, judging by the timing of his death, perhaps his heart couldn’t handle it….if you catch my drift.

After Stieglitz’s death, O’Keeffe moved to New Mexico, a location to which she had taken a liking before his death, to paint landscapes, architecture, and Navajo culture, in works such as, Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue {1931}.

Cow's Skull: Red, White, and Blue, 1931

Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue, 1931

In the early 1970’s she developed macular degeneration and began to lose her eyesight. Despite this she painted, with assistance, till the end. At age 90 she said, “I can see what I want to paint. The thing that makes you want to create it is still alive.”

Georgia O’Keeffe was an inspiring woman, whether or not she was truly a “feminist.” She faced a male driven art scene with charisma and talent. “To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage,” she said. “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life, and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”

Gustav Klimt

To a man who seemingly considered himself a Roman God, why on Earth would the opinions of others concern him? Traipsing through his house in a robe and sandals with no undergarments, Klimt embraced the sexual in every aspect of his life. Having fathered 14 children, presumably by several different women, it is clear he loved the erotic adventures of life as much as his art would indicate.
In a time full of “prudes”, as they would be called nowadays, Klimt just didn’t give two “you know whats” about their opinions on the subjects of his art. He liked sex. He liked women. He liked all things erotic. And though his beliefs and style little fit his time, Freud’s ideas and his publication “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality” showed that Klimt was not alone in exploring this subject matter. Light was being shed upon the subjects of sex, and the base desires of man. Granted, very little light. Like a sliver. But anyway, the door was cracking open ever so slightly. So there’s that.
Klimt exclaimed “all art is erotic.” And perhaps it is. His was just a bit more obvious about it. He explored subjects such as women pleasing themselves, and completely nude women positioned unabashedly. It not only was a subject that he, as a man, of course enjoyed, but his work also showed that women, who were expected to be “ladylike” in that time, had their own sexual needs and desires. And of course, I’m sure Klimt himself would have been all too happy to fill those needs.
Klimt’s art wasn’t always criticized for its “pornographic” nature. Some of his earlier works were criticized as too radical for their extreme symbolism. One such work was his three paintings done on the ceiling of the Great Hall at the University of Vienna in 1894, titled: “Philosophy”, “Medicine”, and “Jurisprudence.” Though despite the disdain these paintings faced in their day, they are still fairly well known till this day. People could not swallow this work at first. Though in later times they became more and more palatable. And now they are considered downright tasty-like a succulent meal at a highly acclaimed restaurant.

Philosophy, 1894

Philosophy, 1894


Medicine, 1894

Medicine, 1894


Jurisprudence, 1894

Jurisprudence, 1894


But Klimt had to kick the controversy up a notch yet, and did so in 1899 when he painted “Nuda Veritas.” Despite the Austrian language, I’m pretty sure the title makes it clear what problem the audience of the time had with this piece. This painting depicted a starkly naked redheaded woman holding the “mirror of truth.” It read: “If you can not please everyone with your deeds and your art, please a few. To please many is bad.” And thus, Klimt found a politer way of saying “f**k you” to the haters without actually using foul language or sticking up his middle finger.
Nuda Veritas, 1899

Nuda Veritas, 1899


When Klimt entered his “Golden Phase” with his heavy utilization of gold leaf, most of his subject matter still turned the great majority off from his work, but generally it can be said that many were dazzled by their brilliant appearance. The works in this period were not entirely centered on the sexual, but were erotic in another sense. They held a touch of glamour and glitz that people were, and still are, so attracted to. Besides their “bling” appeal, these paintings incorporated many different and intricate designs, which were brought together from their seeming chaos into a collection that made up large parts of the overall image. One of Klimt’s works from this period, “The Kiss”, was by far the most popular and well known piece of his work. And I won’t try to be cool by proclaiming that my favorite of his pieces was a lesser known one… I’ll admit, “The Kiss” is my favorite of his work. One of my favorite paintings ever, I think. This painting veered away from the erotic and into the realm of the romantic.The magic of the piece suggests that sometimes at least, Klimt thought with his heart and not just his…….let’s say head.
The Kiss, 1908

The Kiss, 1908


In 1918 Klimt made the best career move he ever could have made. An effective move many artists before him had utilized…he died. The interest in and popularity of his art, as almost always is the case, greatly increased. He is now thought to be the most influential artist to come out of Vienna, and the biggest inspiration to artists after his time that emerged from that city. So no longer does he have to be remembered as the man who went commando that loved to paint boobies.
The Three Ages of Woman, 1905

The Three Ages of Woman, 1905

Kim CorpanyFallon, NV – United States

Kim Corpany grew up on the backs of her family’s horses in Morgan, Utah. Her mother is an artist and art teacher, so to keep Kim out of trouble and quiet in church and other meetings she would give her daughter
pencils and paper to draw on. Being a horse crazy girl from the start, Kim’s artwork has nearly always
revolved around horses.
Kim graduated from Morgan High School where she was Sterling Scholar in art.
She went on to earn an AS degree from Weber State University and then a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Utah State University.

Click link or pic ,to follow this artist >>> http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/kim-corpany.html?tab=artworkgalleries&artworkgalleryid=27617
Kim Corpany - Monument in Nauvoo Illinois of Hyrum and Joseph Smith riding their horses

 

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