Inspired by the flower paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, Rina Lazar creates digital prints of flowers infused with color and movement, dubbing the series “The Divine Nature Of Women.” Whereas O’Keeffe contended that no one truly sees a flower, Lazar utilizes current technology and software to force viewers to question if what they’re looking at is a flower, or an invention of the artist’s imagination. Veering from a painterly manipulation of lines and color to pieces that are surreal and abstract, Lazar moves O’Keeffe’s flowers into the modern era, playing with concepts of “floweriness.” Some pieces seem to be studies in color more than anything else, while other pieces investigate texture, line, and form. Occasionally Lazar’s deep-dive into flowers as both objects and concepts produces dream-like, subconscious imagery, such as faces, iridescent water reflections, gaslight flames, or whole landscapes. At other times, it’s clear that what the viewer is looking at is a flower, but a flower unlike anything found in nature: a hyper-realized, neon flower that is at once familiar and strange.
Lazar calls O’Keeffe one of the most important artists of her century, and looking at her work it’s clear that one of the things Lazar appreciates most about her favorite artist is the way O’Keeffe used her flower paintings to subtly challenge definitions of masculine and feminine in her own time. Lazar takes a similar stance with her digital prints, not shying away from the flower’s more feminine aspects.