‘Offensive’: Leftists target Georgia O’Keeffe after NM Tourism Dept. unveils ad featuring artist

World-renowned artist Georgia O’Keeffe is one of New Mexico’s most celebrated artists for her paintings of landscapes, flowers, bones, churches, and other breathtaking visuals while she resided in the Land of Enchantment. 

O’Keeffe is now being featured in an advertisement from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s newly revamped Tourism Department, with visuals of New Mexico and the following quote from the artist: 

“When I got to New Mexico that was mine. As soon as I saw it that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air – it’s different. The sky is different, the wind is different.”

Despite the seemingly innocent use of the quote to paint a picture of New Mexico’s beauty, the far-left extremist group “Three Sisters Collective,” which helped fuel the fire in the toppling of the Santa Fe Plaza obelisk, is taking exception to the advertisement, claiming the ad is “romantic settler voyeurism.” 

“It’s literally an erasure of indigenous people of this area,” said Dr. Christina M. Castro with the Three Sisters Collective. “We will no longer be dehumanized this way. We are living, thriving cultures and we are here in New Mexico and we expect better from our Tourism Department.”

The Three Sisters Collective applauded the vandalism of the Plaza obelisk before it was completely toppled by radicalized domestic terrorists. The group wrote on Facebook, “With regard to the graffiti written on the obelisk, although uncomfortable for some, the vandalism of this object pales in comparison to hate crimes against Indigenous, Black and Brown people.” However, the monument was erected to commemorate New Mexico’s role in fighting the Confederacy — the very opposite of support for racism or hatred for Black and Brown people.

Then the Santa Fe-based Georgia O’Keeffe Museum itself, which is supposedly supportive of O’Keeffe and her work, branded the ad and the quote from the artist as “colonialist.” 

The statement reads as follows:

“The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum does not support the use of Georgia O’Keeffe quotes describing the New Mexico landscape as ‘her country’ or claiming ‘that was mine’. While these quotes are from the artist, it is now clear that this is the language of possession, colonization, and erasure. Such language is offensive, insulting and insensitive. We strongly discourage the use of these problematic phrases, as well as ‘O’Keeffe Country’ to promote tourism or represent Northern New Mexico. The O’Keeffe Museum recognizes the importance of tourism to the state economy. However, we are advocates for informed tourism that is inclusive of all of our stories and educates visitors on the nuances of our past and the richness of our multicultural present. The O’Keeffe is in open conversation with the NM Department of Tourism to encourage dialogue that supports informed tourism and economic opportunity for all of our communities.”

According to the far-left Santa Fe Reporter, “The messaging within this campaign is representative of a broader effort to overwrite Indigenous connections to place, which is a function of the ongoing colonial project,” says Felicia Garcia (Chumash), co-host of the Exhibiting Kinship podcast and a Santa Fe-based museum professional. “Colonial ideologies related to land and land ownership—such as manifest destiny, terra nullius and Western notions of private property—continue to harm Indigenous people. Indigenous place names, landmarks, stories, boundaries or lack thereof have been overwritten by romanticized US mythologies like this one.”

The far-out local criticisms of O’Keeffe mimic others from left-wing East Coasters, including Dr. Sascha Scott of Syracuse University in New York, who claimed O’Keeffe’s paintings for Dole Food Company in Hawaii during her time visiting the islands are “colonialist.”

She says that O’Keeffe’s paintings from the trip “were structured by colonialism, and Dole advertisements that feature her paintings served to justify and naturalize U.S. conquest. To understand O’Keeffe’s work as participating in the highly racialized project of colonialism is to disrupt dominant histories that, often unwittingly, contribute to the ongoing disenfranchisement of Indigenous peoples. Doing so is an important step toward ‘decolonizing’ the history of American modernism.”

However, the Texas-based public relations firm Giant Noise, which handles state tourism PR, told the Reporter in a statement that “This video is not in market; it was an example to premier the brand refresh. Creative pieces are still in production.”

The ad has been effectively scrubbed from the internet, but snippets from it can be seen in KRQE’s report below:

11 thoughts on “‘Offensive’: Leftists target Georgia O’Keeffe after NM Tourism Dept. unveils ad featuring artist”

  1. This is so sad. Everything that unites us is being set on fire. Our love of our state and country is being spit on and dragged through the mud. We need to keep saying the same things no matter how many times they spit or throw us in the mud. We love our country, our state and our communities no matter what side they belong to. This is where we live, we love our neighbors and we won’t let this cancer of hatred and division destroy us.

  2. The left is so crazed to destroy normalcy that they simply have to make up reasons to stir the rebellion of their slaves. Be free, leftists. Be free.

  3. We have gotten to the point where a bunch of individuals on the fringes of society are so hell-bent on bringing attention to themselves they will not stop until they have destroyed everything that was good and beautiful. And will not stop until they have completely divided us and pitted us one against the other. We cannot judge the actions of the past by the “woke” ideas of the present.
    They have no understanding of Georgia O’Keeffe and her love of New Mexico. And have no understanding of the nuances of language when Georgia spoke about “her land” and “her mountain.” The fact that a few “woke” individuals listen to those people is beyond sad.
    They should be dismissed as the spoiled children they are.

    1. Excellent reply to the nonsense going on today. I do not understand why the loud minority of hateful voices are ruling the majority. Georgia has done nothing except to honor New Mexico and all of it’s people’s.

  4. I take issue with these people being identified as leftists. I consider myself leftist and their opinions do not represent me in any manner. They represent themselves. It’s just a grossly generalized label that has little meaning anyway. Many writers these days use it as a negative connotation to the group it is applied against . That’s my opinion about that.
    Those who complain about what Ms. Okeef said, are entitled to an opinion about it. And I am entitled to mine. l personally like Georgia’s quotes and understand her words to mean that she held an affinity with the land which she experienced a belonging to and with, and made it her home. What’s wrong in that?
    Some of us are white people and we exist here and now? We have feelings, desires and hopefully we have an affinity to the land we now live and dwell upon. Whatever color one may be hopefully they to care about the land which they live upon.

    These people seem to want to deny us, white people, for having the very same feelings for these lands which were previously lived upon by their ancestors. They are complaining about white men and ladies, having a love for “their” lands which away from them by the white men.

    Seems a little hypocritical to me. Study history a little further back in time and tell us whose land it was 500 years before the Europeans arrived, and 500 years before that. We are all here now and need to celebrate our lives we are now living. Make this a better place for us all, regardless of your skin color. What’s important now is that we all share a love for these lands which we now reside upon. That love is contingent upon, and personal to, the person experiencing this thing NOW we call life. We all all one race, having many different shades.

    1. I see that you call yourself a “leftist”. But, given the current connotations around the word “leftist”, I would say you make too much sense to be a “leftist”. While I do not know your politics, I would venture to say that, perhaps 15-20 years ago, you may have been considered a “leftist”. It’s terrifying how the extreme edges are being pulled further and further away from the center and away from reality. Be well.

  5. I’ve lived here all my life and I am sick and tired of people coming to New Mexico telling us what to believe, what is right and how to live. Common courtesy – respect – politeness were the traits of the people while I was growing up. It still is with most. We also have a governor/administration who are more concerned about themselves – oh they tell you how they love New Mexico and it’s people – yeah sure pal! We, New Mexicans need to turn this state RED – Blue has kept us POOR and last in everything for YEARS……. Oh wait, we have Dominion machines – so the next election will actually be another selection. Bogus just like the last one that got this gov/tyrant/mayor elected.

  6. Pingback: ‘Offensive’: Leftists target Georgia O’Keeffe after NM Tourism Dept. unveils ad featuring artist – SFWR

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  8. New Mexico is “my country” too. Spiritually. Does that mean I literally am “claiming it” No……….. Obviously these crazed people have not seen the phrase used in any sense other than their sense of reality. I guess when you have a hammer, everything is a nail.
    Why not come up with some tourism ideas of your own, and present them? I would love to know more about the Pueblos and People…. and not in a “colonialist” way. In a human way.
    To only tear down is not an act of creation and helps no one. Creation of something good helps us all. This is a new day, let’s use it for good.

    1. You can ask, but they will most certainly decline with the vitriol language of the Ivy League-educated activists that they are.

      The current left are not our father’s “liberals”. If they don’t agree with what one thinks or says, they sure as hell aren’t going to die for their right to say or think it. In fact, they do not think that people dying (or at least losing their livelihoods or having their lives destroyed) for having an opinion that they disagree with is a bad thing. They want good, “politically reliable” people in society.

      Actions of groups such as Three Sisters and BLM have nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with revenge politics, critical race theory, and of course, enriching their founders. That’s why the “black Marxist” founder of BLM has a $1M+ mansion in Malibu. My understanding of what groups like Three Sisters wants is like this:

      1.) All white people to leave any land touched by Native Americans and to never return.

      2.) Turn land back over to Native American tribes, including all of the developed infrastructure.

      3.) Monetary damages.

      4.) Continued self-flagellation of whites until such time that the white race is a crippled, milquetoast minority. There are actually supposedly educated white people that think this is a good idea.

      What defines Native American territory? Why, that’s a great question. If you ask an activist, it’s everything – from sea to shining sea. From what I can tell, Native Americans didn’t inhabit every nook and cranny of the Continental US. In fact, even in New Mexico, there’s areas that Native Americans didn’t inhabit. Just as an example, Native Americans, at best, periodically hunted in the area around Timberon. Maybe set up a camp fire or two. Doesn’t make it Native territory in my opinion. Try telling that to an activist.

      What no one wants is what makes sense: Mutual respect, equally sharing in the God-given rights protected by our Constitution and equality in OPPORTUNITIES (not outcomes) to compete for success. That should scare the hell out of anyone – including folks that are left of center.

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