PHOTOS, SOUND-BITES WITH INFORMED BACK-UP. SCROLL DOWN FOR MY PROFILE...I don't make a photograph just with a camera. I bring to the act of photography all the pictures I have seen, all the books I have read, all the music I have heard, and all the people I have known.
My posting of this photograph,The Red Daisy, for RUBY TUESDAY, is inspired by fellow blogger, The Aware Writer, whose 'Ode to a Red Flower' was posted on Monday Musings: http://awarewriter.wordpress.com/
John McDevitt's musings and experiments with the photographic medium produced images that reminded me of Georgia O'Keeffe's approach to painting flowers. In short, creating images that are about the flower itself, and the photographer's ability to reveal a transformative inner dimension that the transient eye doesn't register. Today, photographers can go out on a limb with their imaginations and tools, just as O'keeffe decided to do with painting a little flower. Notably, McDevitt's experiments with an 'Ode to a Red Flower' became as abstract as some of O'Keeffe's flower paintings.
The Red Gerber Daisy by Margaret Gosden
When O'Keeffe started painting flowers she wanted to paint what she SAW, not what people usually associated with flowers - the touching, the smelling, the gifting, the arranging. She said, "Still, in a way, nobody sees a flower, really, it is so small, we haven't time, and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time".
She thought that if she painted a flower, small, no one would see what she sees, so she decided to paint big. "I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers".
This is O'keeffe's painting of a Red Poppy, 1927. Oil on canvas 7 x 9 taken from Georgia O'keeffe, A Studio Book, published by The Viking Press, New York (1976)
Dubbed 'The Great Abomination' on Astor Place, New York (according to artist Doug Blanchard's blog COUNTERLIGHT'S PECULIARS) this building, completed in 2009, dominates the view of 4th Avenue, where Lafayette and the Bowery come together. However, 'The Great Abomination' offers passers by a mesmerizing, ever changing facade of moving reflected shapes and, to the photographer, numerous choices of combinations of shots, when traffic allows. One move to the right or left, backward or forward, and the favored pattern is gone!
It is not the only ugly new building that has lately appeared in the neighborhood. But that is a story for
O'Keeffe and Abiquiu house: "The wall with a door in it was something I had to have - it took me 10 years to get it...after that the wall with a door was painted many times".
(Below: Black Door with Red (Oil on canvas 48x84 in.1954 Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk,Virginia).
Relaxing at home over a snifter of brandy, following a visit to the Whitney Museum NY to catch the Georgia O'keeffe exhibit, my friend MFH noticed how the painting above is reflected when looking at it through the brandy. Ha! A new abstraction of The Door. Not only that, the first photograph produced the ghost passing through it - how fitting! (O'KEEFFE ABSTRACTIONS travels to The Phillips Collection in Washington DC February 6 - May 9)
So, one image led to another, and another...
The art world, and one or two of my friends, still find it difficult to consider O'Keeffe's work worthy of the attention she has had throughout her career. O'Keeffe would accept none of it - she saw that audience associations with gender, erotic relationships (and personal relationships) limited the possibility of looking at her painting, free of such issues, and seeing what SHE saw.
So, forgetting the alcoholic relationship here, this is what I saw! Lots of red for Ruby Tuesday.