The Garden

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There are degrees of abstraction, from the abstract expressionist of Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings to the shadowy forms photographed by Paul Strand where there were, at least, recognizable shapes and patterns. Georgia O’Keefe often framed her flowers so tightly that her painting became abstract. But for those who consider abstraction as an invention of 20th century artists, consider the abstract character of Monet’s water lilies. This was not just one painting, but a series of approximately 250 works created by the artist at his home in Giverny, France. Over time, Monet eliminated the sky, trees and edges of his pond from his composition, thereby focusing solely on shapes and color, and creating increasingly abstract paintings.

 

Abstract means different things to different people. At its roots, it arouses our imagination. It might present a departure from reality. And it allows a viewer freedom to interpret abstract art in his own way. My inspiration for, not just flowers, but all of my photography stems from Georgia O’Keefe’s famous quote: “Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small – we haven’t time – and to see takes time… So I said to myself – I’ll paint what I see – what the flower is to me, but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it – I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.”