Images from Wadsworth Athenuem.
While the art world was carrying on about Dadaism and Surrealism, there was an equally-influential painter quietly creating a storm in the United States. Her name is Georgia O'Keeffe. O'Keeffe is one of the first artists I fell in love with when I became fascinated with painting. To say that I love her large flowers is cliche, but it's true I do.
But as I read more about O'Keeffe, I became more fascinated with her as a person. She is another example of the artist as art. Always unadorned and unapologetic in appearance, her presence is a fascinating one. Her husband, Alfred Stiegletz, is considered the father of modern photography as an art form.
Stiegletz once gave Georgia the following sage advice about art school. "Learn all you can. Then forget all you learn. What will be left is the best of you." I think, perhaps Stiegletz's influence on the modern world is only beginning to be understood.
Look at the photos he took of Georgia, where she fearlessly posed without makeup, upon awakening and without combing her hair. Her aloof beauty was always evident, even as she aged. Are these unlike the photos that we see in flickr, where brave people share their lives with us each day? What would Alfred think of flickr? I am sure he would be fascinated, as am I. And I am sure he would be proud to know there are so many talented artists all over the world who were influenced by him.
Without Alfred and Georgia there would be no flickr.