For more than a decade, a print of O’Keeffe’s “Light Iris” has graced the wall of various rooms in my home. I must admit I selected it at first for the color scheme, as well as my own fascination with close-up flower photography.
There has been a lot of discussion over the years about the relative eroticism of her flower paintings, especially in that some would seem to portray vaginal imagery.
If you were to turn this image 90 degrees, could it be a woman’s face ?
Interesting, at least.
From Flavorwire, “Ten Most Misunderstood Artists”:
“Georgia O’Keeffe consistently battled against the Freudian interpretations of her flower series. Alike to macro-photography, these paintings glanced deep into the exquisite crevices of orchids and calla lilies, dove inside along the sensuously open petals… wait, stop, sorry, sorry! Flowers. They are just flowers. With Judy Chicago, the feminist art movement of the 1970s attempted to commandeer O’Keeffe for her “feminine iconography,” but she refused to collaborate with them on any projects. Biologically, the centers of flowers are androgynous, not feminine, alright? These flowers were not painted in praise of labia, conversely, these ravenous views are tributes to the sensual forces and ecstasy of nature itself. “