Georgia O'Keefe was an American artist (November 15 1887- March 6 1986), renowned for her paintings of enlarged flowers, skyscrapers and landscapes.
Enlarging the poppies was O'Keefe's way of getting others to see the wonder of small flowers up close. O'Keefe quoted, "Nobody really sees a flower, so I'll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it, even busy New Yorkers."
Many critics discuss The Poppy as cycles of birth, life and death while others saw the flowers as a version of female sexuality. O'Keefe never confirmed the critics views but instead chose to discuss the wonders of the smaller things in life.
The stark contrast between the stark red and deep black color of the painting was meant to have a great impact on the viewer. She uses tints of red, orange, white and pink to make the flower more three dimensional and make the flower seem closer to the viewer.
This is not the only known painting of flowers or indeed poppies. There are seven different paintings of poppies, the two that are most well known are Red Poppy and Oriental Poppies. Other paintings have been considered less 'menacing', even O'Keefe's husband described The Poppy as 'that wild red painting'.
Georgia O'Keefe will always be known as one of the most intriguing artists of the twentieth century. Her distinct style will be considered to be the original contributor to American Modernism.