BOOK REVIEWS

Georgia O'Keeffe (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-04-04 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 21 user ratings
ISBN:0516022970
LANGUAGE:English

" She ate soil before.She married her husband. " said.

" Cool! I've already fallen head over heels with Georgia O'Keeffe! What a superb artist! " said.

" Great children's book about Georgia O'Keeffe. And her name is spelled correctly in the book, thank gods, lmfao. Simple biography intermixed with art, both of O'Keeffe's and Venezia's own. " said.

" I used to love these books as a kid. Simple, but nicely done. " said.

" 06/11: We love this series. This was one of David's favorite in the series. " said.

" A children's book which I bought for grandchildren. Very nice with basic information about Georgia O'Keeffee and lots of great pictures of here work. " said.

" Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists, Georgia O'Keeffe is another nice edition in this fantastic collection by Mike Venezia. These books are perfect for exposing elementary and junior high aged students to a large variety of artists and styles of art in a memorable way. " said.

"Previously read: currently playing catch-up.

I don't know what I expected when I started reading this, but whatever it was, I did not receive it.

I first knew Georgia O'Keefe from an educational computer game in which you helped a robot stop a mad scientist from changing history so she could cheat on her 4th grade history test. (Great premise, even greater game.) O'Keefe's paintings were part of a game in which you matched analogies and patterns together, forming a completed picture. The voice-over provided little snippets of O'Keefe's life and work, but not much beyond the fact that her art centered on southwestern themes.

It was years later I discovered the sexual nature of O'Keefe's work: this time, it was through of slew of 90s and 00s comedians joking about how all her flower paintings looked like vaginas. Unfortunately, I never did extensive enough research to confirm if that was her intention, but having read a few interviews in which her friends and critics made similar connections between her work and female sexuality, the idea stayed firmly planted in my mind.

Sitting down to read Mike Venzenia's book for the first time a few weeks ago, I thus wondered how much he could actually say about her work, seeing that he probably wouldn't touch on the sexual component, and what I'd previously read led me to believe that that was integral to understanding O'Keefe.

I think, oddly enough, I got a sense of that sexuality in reading Venezia's work, but not overtly.

It was strange, to be sure. Much more attention was given to O'Keefe's art than to her personal life: diffierent from the 50/50 balance found in other Venezia books. There weren't as many cartoons in this edition, either. Halfway through, it felt as if Mike had simply run out of material, and tried to stretch out the book by including more paintings and using fewer sentences per page.

It worked, though. O'Keefe's lack of human subjects leads to artwork that, to me, feels cosmic and by-and-large contemplative. In a way, her paintings remind me of the plays of Samuel Beckett: stark, but highly-detailed in the starkness. (Then again, everything reminds me of Beckett for I love him so.) The information regarding her personal life felt stale, details of her marriage not very helpful and almost forced in delivery. But the art more than made up for the imperfections in the writing. Perhaps it's just the nature of O'Keefe's artwork. But Venezia's selection, as always, led to a sense of mystery and--dare I say--eroticism that made me want to better understand the true nature of Georgia's art.
" said.

June 2018 New Book:

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