Georgia on my mind

Georgia OKeeffe Inside Clam Shell, 1930

White is a color. Or is it? Yesterday, a fashionista at the mall told me that white is a “neutral.” I hated to argue with her, because youth is infallibly certain. But white isn’t neutral at all.

White is breathless. When I approach art I usually clamor for stunning color or a nuanced message worthy of prophets. Intellectual vigor of form or composition.

Georgia sweeps all that away in this painting and confounds us with whiteness. White interests me for all its myriad associations.  Purity, cleanliness, godliness.  A white canvas or paper to some of us signals dizzy anticipation or nail-biting terror.  But here, it is divested from  spiritual or moral connotation.

I see an alien landscape, the twilight side of the moon. Craters and ash, shadowy gorges and soaring peaks unmeasured. Is this an internal landscape sweeping and bare or the external in infinite magnitude? Georgia reveals her surprise, it’s the inside of a clamshell.

Oh it’s so much more though. She makes the small and insignificant, grand. With sweeping lines, and hints of color, rivulets of green, glowings of yellow, she elevates white to legendary status. Mythic.

Pair that with your colored denim crops and skinny jeans people.