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Georgia O'Keeffe

Light of Iris

1924

Adopt an unusual focal length

The daughter of Wisconsin farmers, the painter Georgia O'Keeffe established herself as one of the major figures of 20th century American art. Trained in prestigious institutions in Chicago and New York, she finally developed her own style between abstraction and figuration, making lines, curves and colors powerful vectors of emotion.

 

It was in the 1920s that she began to work on the theme that would take her name to

posterity: the flowers. But the images she has delivered are the antithesis of the floral compositions of traditional still lifes. Influenced by her photographer friends – including her husband Alfred Stieglitz – she opted for a very close-up vision, often painted on large-format canvases. By thus forgetting the flower as an object – composed of stem, petals and pistil – she has highlighted delicate colors and sensual shapes, both carnal and evanescent, which seem detached from all reality.

What we can take away:

Our vision of the world is conditioned by the focal point with which we observe it. A situation will be experienced differently depending on whether we have an overall view of it (wide shot) or a closer view (close shot). Changing focal length – zooming in or out – often reveals the unsuspected.

Related theme: Creativity
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