There is a Georgia as in the former Soviet Republic and there is Georgia in the South, but then there is the Land of Georgia as in Georgia O’Keeffe. New Mexico is the Land of Georgia, or as I prefer to call it, The Holy Land.
This week I bought a kid’s Georgia O’Keeffe art book at the dollar sale on the library steps. All but discarded, I could use it for collage without any guilt. Dissecting and repositioning pieces of her paintings is an interesting exercise in Art History. I quickly realized that in some ways, everything she painted was a landscape. You see it in the flowers you see it in the skulls.
Unfortunately I hear too many people dismiss Georgia O’Keeffe. Yes, her work is very popular. It’s also been over reproduced in the world of calendars and greeting cards. But you know why people love the work? It’s really good. It is a silly type of snobbery just to dismiss an artist solely because her work is popular. And if you know New Mexico, and you can’t be there at the moment, one of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings has the power to take you right back. You can feel the summer heat, sense the stillness and you and maybe you can even smell the smoke drifting across the state right now.