Sunday, February 26, 2012

How Georgia Became O'Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living

"She followed her own rules, and got away with it," author Karen Karbo states in How Georgia Became O'Keeffe, referring to the artist as "the poster child for doing exactly what you want, in the service of an abiding passion."

This innovative, inspirational biography seeks to understand the intersection of O'Keeffe's life and art. The narrative is filled with great wit and hilarity and delves beyond the facts of O'Keeffe's "art star" status in order to better understand her choices: why she lived and painted the way she did; endured a tumultuous, co-dependent artistic and romantic relationship with the father of modern photography, Alfred Stieglitz; and how she maintained her sense of self and authenticity throughout.

Karbo's personal admiration for this bold, fearless artist leaps off the page. A single verb introduces the theme of each chapter with the intent to compare the artist's challenges to those that plague creative women today. Karbo explores O'Keeffe's artistic influences while circling the idea that O'Keeffe came from a sensible, hardworking, middle-class family and yet, she continually took risks and defied expected traditions of womanhood in order to nurture and preserve her ideals of self-expression. 

This is the latest installment in Karbo's "kick ass women" trilogy. The two other books examine the lives of Katharine Hepburn and Coco Chanel, also showing how strong, independent women forged their own paths by living true to themselves, despite being considered "unconventional."  While O'Keeffe continues to be revered as a personal icon to millions of women and aspiring artists everywhere, it is Karbo's original, wry analysis that is bound to enrich O'Keeffe's status even more.

skirt!, $21.95, Hardcover,9780762771318, 240 pp
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
To order this book via INDIEBOUND link HERE

Please note: This review is a reprint and is being posted (in a slightly different form) with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (11/18/11), click HERE.