News

Tom Ford on Georgia O’Keeffe: ‘I Thought She Was the Strangest Person I Ever Met’

Tom Ford at New York Fashion Week in September 2019.

CLINT SPAULDING/WWD/SHUTTERSTOCK

Could it be that the man who has set beauty standards for so many women obsessed with defying age was inspired by an elderly and wrinkled Georgia O’Keeffe?

One of the offerings in Rob Haskell’s profile of fashion designer and filmmaker Tom Ford in the September issue of Vogue is a glimpse at Ford’s art collection. A photo accompanying the story has him sitting in his Los Angeles living room in front of a moody Morris Louis. Haskell writes: “The things [on view in Ford’s home] are great things, particularly the art: Andy Warhol, Franz Kline, Morris Louis, Lucio Fontana.” (He notes a Cindy Sherman photograph too.)

A little later, we learn about an artwork Ford will never let go:

[T]he Calder mobile hanging in the living room [is] the only artwork he could never imagine parting with. It belonged to Georgia O’Keeffe, whom his grandfather introduced him to as a boy outside the La Fonda hotel in Santa Fe. “I thought she was the strangest person I ever met in my life,” he recalls. “My grandmother was from Texas, and she wore makeup and always had her hair done. I didn’t understand this creature at all. If we were in Santa Fe, I’d lead you to my bathroom, and right there, next to my mirror where I get dressed, is a Warhol Polaroid of Georgia O’Keeffe. And she is fucking cool-looking, just covered in wrinkles. Hanging over her head in so many pictures of her is that Calder. It retains an emotional excitement for me.”

© 2019 ARTnews Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. ARTnews® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.