More about Grey Blue & Black—Pink Circle

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So Grey Blue & Black - Pink Circle is of course is “not a vagina” as O’Keeffe so severely insisted about her work and we “totally believe her.”

She did once say, “You write as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower- and I don’t.” So from here on out, I will only speculate about what this painting could represent but you must know that, as O’Keeffe suggested, nothing here is sexual. So those phallic-looking objects that pop up in the middle of the painting are definitely not phalluses. And the round, pink opening behind it is certainly not a bajingo. So what is it, you may ask? It’s just abstract shapes. “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

But here is what we do know. This painting was made at the tail end of her Special series, which was mostly abstract paintings and drawings that took up most of the 1920s. This painting (made in 1929) was one of the last before her leap into her most famous works from New Mexico (apparently stark, desolate landscapes were her creative oasis…to each her own I guess). So this painting is not nearly as popular as her skulls and flowers and stuff but it does have an “Alice down the rabbit hole” vibe to it though that reminds us of the Beatles’ LSD phase. 

What is particularly awesome about this painting is that O’Keeffe had removed herself from the New York mainstream to create it, which was the most bold as New York was where it was at in the 1920s. And yet, somehow she still stole the show even from upstate New York… aka Timbuktu.