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It’s tough these days to address the work of Georgia O’Keeffe without undue reference to Alfred Stieglitz, or to vaginas. In fact, there are those who claim it can’t be done. To these people, we say: sometimes a throbblingly detailed rendering of the reproductive organs of flowers is just a throbbingly detailed rendering of the reproductive organs of flowers.
Still, humans like their analogies. In honor of the Phillips Collection’s new exhibition, “Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction,” we’ve reimagined a few O’Keeffe canvases as stunning iTunes visualizations. Audacious choices, illustrations included, below the jump. (The Phillips Collection is closed due to the snowstorm tomorrow, when the show was scheduled to open. As of right now, the museum will be open Sunday.)
“Sky Above Clouds III/Above the Clouds III” (1963)
The Tune: The Shins, “New Slang”—because the hint of pastel and sense of idiosyncratic delicacy evoke James Mercer‘s weird, wounded, but still grinning songsmithery.
“Jack in the Pulpit No. IV” (1930)
The Tune: Mahavishnu Orchestra, “Eternity’s Last Breath”—-because painting and song share the same deep-hued, hot-to-the-touch mysticism. Stare at it long enough, and O’Keeffe’s flame simmers like the most mind-expanding John McLaughlin solo.
“Series I—-No. 3” (1918)
The Tune: Raffi, “Baby Beluga”—-because it’s both nautical and whimsical. Bonus: The jets of pale yellow and ostentatious pink are convincing approximations of what the song’s ridiculous horn solo sounds like.
“Grey, Blue & Black—-Pink Circle” (1929)
The Tune: The xx, “Crystalised”—-the subdued, spiky canvas matches the oddball ghostscapes of Britain’s slowest, coolest post-punkers. Like the xx, O’Keeffe’s painting is all about gentle prods amid an atmospheric haze.
“Abstraction White Rose” (1927)
The Tune: Edvard Grieg, “Piano Concerto in A Op. 16, I. Allegro molto moderato”—because the concerto’s first movement shares this canvas’ sense of stormy dilation. And of Norwegianness.
“Black Place III” (1944)
The Tune: Jethro Tull, “Cross-Eyed Mary”—because the painting, like the song, is concerned with a moral rupture; and because the album art Jon Anderson rejected for Aqualung looked pretty similar to this fella.