Georgia O’Keeffe (1887 – 1986) was fascinated by the animal bones, weathered and worn, that she found in the desert in New Mexico. In Red and Pink Rocks and Teeth she presented a jawbone alongside two stacked rocks that appear both monumental and indeterminate. The smooth, rounded forms of the red and pinks rocks appear in enigmatic relation to one another, as the red pebble seems to recede from the picture plane even though it must be perched on top of the pink stone. Their abstracted forms and warm colors contrast sharply with the bleached, angular teeth and hard, cracked appearance of the jawbone and together construct a tromp l’ceil that questions the nature or representation and perception.
Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue (1931) prominently displays the three colors of the American flag. Painted at a time when American artists, musicians, and writers were interested in identifying a uniquely American style and subject matter for their work, Georgia O’Keeffe offered a dissenting opinion about what images could best symbolize America.
Rather than paying homage to the lush agricultural landscape as the Regionalist painters did, or uncovering urban problems like the American Scene painters, she used a weathered cow’s skull to represent the enduring spirit of America. Although she made it as a joke on the concept of the “Great American Painting,” the picture is a quintessential icon of the American West.
Georgia O’Keeffe’s Cow’s Skull: Red, White and Blue is part of the Alfred Stieglitz Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
London-based Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid has been forced to defend herself against claims that her design for Qatar’s Al-Wakrah stadium, which is being built for the 2022 football World Cup, is based on the female genitalia, after images of the “vagina stadium” went viral two weeks ago.
The architect insists that the building’s swollen flaps, which part along the roof to frame a central ovoid opening, were inspired by the sails of local dhow sailing boats, but others have ridiculed their labial similarities. The Daily Show ran images of the stadium sprouting a forest of pubic hair, describing Hadid as “the Georgia O’Keeffe of things you can walk inside” and sent its sports correspondent to find the clitoral “press box” in vain. Hee!
In support of the argument that it looks like Lady parts, I will offer that it also closely resembles This. In the meantime, if there’s grass on the field, play ball!