“I’m always trying to paint that door – I never quite get it,” said Georgia O’Keeffe in 1962. “It’s a curse, the way I feel – I must continually go on with that door.”
The door – painted over and over again with almost ridiculously stern obsession – was but a rough black rectangle of negative space amidst a plain brown adobe wall, located in the courtyard of O’Keefe’s humble farmstead in Abiquiù. Collectively, twenty-odd paintings of the same wall exist under her name today, each consecutive version chipping away at the mystery that hooked her so. It would almost seem as if she wished to penetrate its essence – to scratch the itch, so to speak – bewitched by some unknown spell that compelled her to each new iteration. Over decades, various hypotheses would allude O’Keefe’s door to the entryway to female mystery, designate the brown wall as impenetrable gender stereotyping of her time, or defend her general tenacity a feminist outcry. However, something tells me the true reasoning may have been a lot less complex than we like to think…
Perhaps – just perhaps – the scene presented to O’Keefe purely as a visual curiosity? An inexplicable attraction. No frills, ulterior motives or remit; just unadulterated muse.
“That door is what made me buy this house,” she said. “I used to climb over the wall, just to look at that door.”
We take inspiration from O’Keeffe in this story and take to the foot of the Atlas Mountain, slicking our hair back into a bun and donning headpieces of the same black hue as the door, charged by a similar vehement approach to uncovering the essence of a muse. We find a kindred solace between the terracotta walls and crocodile-green foliage that punctuate the landscape. Graphic cuts and angular accessories are also thrown into the portrait, as a reminder that the her subjects of muse also wandered into urban cityscapes (namely, New York), juxtaposed with garden flowers – defining the independence and grit of O’Keeffe.
dress, coat & sandals 3.1 PHILLIP LIM
creative direction, photography & words SHINI PARK
art direction CAMILO GONZALEZ
styling MARIAN NACHMIA
hair & makeup KATE TIGHE
production CUBE COLLECTIVE
project management ANNA HOLMFELD
video MARCO LEITER
research ZANA WILBERFORCE
layout CAMILO GONZALEZ
retouch ALE JIMENEZ