Georgia O'Keefe: Visions of Hawai'i
Summer is the time to surround yourself with the great beauty of nature, whether you’re lying on a sandy beach, hiking through rugged mountains or simply strolling through a tropical garden...
I found myself totally immersed in the latter on a recent visit to the New York Botanical Gardens to see their latest exposition: Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i.
Considered the "Mother of American modernism," most people know Georgia O’Keeffe for her paintings of flowers, many of which are considered suggestive and subtly erotic despite her denial of this depiction.
What most people don’t know however, is that O’Keeffe typically lost herself in her surroundings, whether she found herself in New York City, Santa Fe or wherever her travels would take her. It was on a trip to Hawaii to work on a promotional campaign for none other than the Hawaiian Pineapple Company when she discovered the immense beauty of the Hawaiian islands and spent most of her time creating paintings of her inspiring surroundings.
What is incredible about the exhibit is that not only are 17 of her paintings displayed from this time in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Art Gallery portion of the New York Botanical Garden, but within the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory they have recreated lush and exotic gardens with flora and fauna from Hawaii. These are the scenes that O’Keeffe was so mesmerized by during that nine-week period of her life.
The best part of the story is that, ironically, O’Keeffe left Hawaii and never actually painted a pineapple so the Hawaiian Pineapple Company shipped her a pineapple to paint from New York, as if she were still there! (see image above right). Thus further proof that O’Keeffe’s depth as an artist was innately within her, no matter the time, place or location. She was a true legend and continues to be a role model for all female artists.
Be sure to catch this exhibit "Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai’i” at the NYBG while it runs from Saturday, May 19, 2018 – Sunday, October 28, 2018 and shop my tropical-inspired look below!
SHOP THE LOOK
Photography by Genevieve Garruppo