Georgia O'keefe Outside The Shadow

Georgia O'keefe is known for her pioneering role as one of the first female modernists of the 20th century. Her paintings are recognized for their iconic skyscrapers, animal skulls, floral and Mexican landscapes. However, she lived in the shadows of her husband and her gender for most of her career.

It is hard being an innovator; it takes a while to get recognition. At first, Georgia had to face scrutiny because her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, was well known in the art world. For a long time, she was referred to as Stieglitz’s wife and not by her actual name. Her paintings also faced many misconceptions because they were associated with her gender. A lot of critics believed her floral works were supposed to be representations of a vagina. It was pieces like her Music Pink and Blue II that started this. The piece was actually about her playing with abstraction and how music moves her.

Photo taken from the MoMa

Photo taken from the MoMa

Georgia taught us a lot about valuing yourself and your work. Regardless of all the negativity behind her career, she never stopped pushing for her dream. Today she is celebrated around the world for her groundbreaking work. She reminds us every day that our gender and family do not define us. We are defined by the work and energy we release into the universe. Thank you, Georgia.