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.
Some scholars have suggested that Georgia O’Keeffe’s famous flower paintings, as well as her other paintings in which the subject appears greatly enlarged, were influenced by modern photographers such as her husband, Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand, who “zoomed in” on and closely cropped their subject in an attempt to discover its core essence. O’Keeffe emulates this technique in her compositions. She built her reputation on the fact that people tend not to notice small or seemingly insignificant details.
Poppies were one of O’Keeffe’s favorite subjects. For her 1927 painting, Poppy, O’Keeffe used a palette of primarily warm colors—shades of red, orange, and yellow. However, the center of the poppy, which forms the focal point of the composition, is in soft dark shades of black and purple. The contrast of these colors against the lighter colors at the edges of the petals, draws the eye of the viewer deep into the core of the blossom. By removing the poppy from any obvious context, and creating an oversized close up of the flower, O’Keeffe essentially abstracts the organic forms into black and red shapes. The resulting image is both objective, because the flower is a recognizable subject, and abstract, because the viewer is compelled to see the work in terms of pure form and color. [Read more...]