Becoming O’Keeffe is a movie that journeys through the life and work the iconic American artist Georgia O’Keeffe and her lascivious and oftentimes audacious relationship with photographer Alfred Stieglitz. A scintillating and oftentimes dreamy story that traces through trials and tribulations of this extraordinary woman’s life, the story is an emotional rollercoaster full of laughter, pain and, most importantly, the oftentimes complex journey of an artist.
Despite her historical significance as a warrior of women’s rights in the art community at the turn of the century and beyond, little work has been done in terms of film on this immensely influential and important artist. One of the most striking and significant features of O’Keeffe’s life has to do with the fact that she broke the mold about what a woman artist should be and by doing so, O’Keeffe helped pave the way for other women to have the chance to earn a living as an artist – a profession that precious few women had the opportunity to seriously explore during O’Keeffe’s lifetime.
The story of Georgia O’Keeffe is one that needs telling and there are large communities around the world that would welcome a film on her life. To date, the bodies of work in terms of film that have been done on O’Keeffe are largely biographical. They are documentary works that focus on her paintings as opposed to focusing on the struggles she faced as a woman artist in a society that not only did not accept women as legitimate artists, but oftentimes ridiculed and looked down upon women who dared be independent enough to pursue their own work as opposed to supporting that of their husbands’.
As one of the most iconic women artists of the 20th century, the story of Georgia O’Keeffe is one that is constantly being examined and rewritten as the struggle for gender equality continues. Her struggles are more relevant now more than ever and in many ways she opened the doors for many other subsequent female artists to pursue similar endeavors. This struggle is still an everyday reality for countless women and because of this her story needs to be shared, once again, but in a fresh perspective.
The film, once completed, will be of special interest to women pursing lives as artists, who are already artists and also for men and women interested in promoting women in the arts. As a film, it will appeal to fans of independent film, biopics and 20th century history. The movie also tells a beautifully tragic love story that will touch fans of romance films. Due to the artistic significance of the work of both O’Keeffe and Stieglitz, artists from all kinds of backgrounds will be interested in seeing the stories of these influential characters told on screen.
With the vision of being a visually stunning and historically significant film, Becoming O’Keeffe will be a wonderful educational tool for students of art and will also be of great use for art and photography galleries and museums who feature the work of O’Keeffe or Stieglitz in some form. Feminist organizations and organizations which support women in the arts would find great interest in this.
The founder and writer of the script, Pamela Gaye Walker, has spent nearly two decades portraying Georgia O’Keeffe in various capacities on stage and knows her life and work intimately. In fact, Ghost Ranch Productions’ first project back in 2001 was a play called Alfred Stieglitz Loves O’Keeffe – story about Georgia O’Keeffe and, her husband, Alfred Stieglitz. The play had a successful critical and commercial run at The Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena, California. Ghost Ranch Productions then remounted the show at The Castle Green in Pasadena, at renowned painter Steve Houston’s art studio, Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California and ended its run at the historic Maybeck Chick Mansion in Oakland.