Loose-fitting white shirts, roomy skirts, slouchy cardigans, straight tunics, and wraparound robes made up the majority of O’Keeffe’s working wardrobe. Her utilitarian clothes were an extension of her general approach to art and life. Often referred to as a feminist painter, she cast off that label, preferring to be seen as simply an artist and judged for her work rather than her gender (in some ways, the most feminist of sentiments for an American woman working in the early 20th century). By adopting a minimalist, monochrome, masculine-inspired uniform, O’Keeffe took control of her personal image, enabling her work to take center stage. Nevertheless, thanks to both the quantity and composition of Stieglitz’s photographs, she’s distilled in our minds as a serene, almost religious figure: with her robe tied at the waist, white collar peeking out just so, the image of the artist has become as fascinating as the work she created. Is it a coincidence that O’Keeffe’s staid minimalism has helped to frame her as a serious artist in the canon, while Kahlo’s brightly hued and multi-printed maximalism has seen her reduced to a caricature, plastered across cushions and pencil cases? 



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