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Georgia O’Keeffe is most well known for her close-up floral artwork, but this series is only a 200-piece portion of her 2000-plus collection of paintings. Lesser known of O’Keeffe’s work, complet- ed in the early days of her career, are watercolors. She completed these between 1916 and 1918. O’Keeffe’s watercolors explore both the beauty of the human form through a nude series, and the wonder of nature through the landscapes of the Texas Panhandle. As a definer of O’Keeffe’s place at the top of the American Modernist movement, her exploration of the American southwest is widely known. She lived permanently in the Southwest during the later portion of her life, and she famously used all her time and energy in the act of creation.
During this time O’Keefe fashioned her Model-A-Ford into a moving art studio so she could be within the art she was making at all times. Because of our inability to conduct photoshoots for this story, we looked instead to the lines, colors, and symbolism behind O’Keeffe’s work. Collages, hand drawn sketches, and a variety of other mediums represent the three aspects that define O’Keeffe as an artist: flowers, watercolors, and desertscapes. This editorial explores the practice of art direction without benefit of photography; deconstruction of a perfected image into the components it takes to attain it. It picks up fragments of O’Keeffe’s work and life, and places them back together again to reflect a new sense of vision.
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