Briana Sophia Young
Described as, “a visual poet,” by L’Art Projects, Briana Sophia Young has garnered a reputation for an empirical aesthetic across visual and written worlds. Her nature art has been showcased over the past decade in boutiques and galleries in New York and Los Angeles. Her commissioned installation projects have been featured during New York Fashion Week as well as Vogue’s Fashion Night Out in Hollywood, CA. Images of her work have glossed the editorial pages of Vogue, Elle Decor, and House Beautiful. As a writer she has worked alongside fashion designers, entertainment artists, and artist agency corporations to assist in each brand’s creative development. An alum from NYU’S Tisch School of the Arts, Briana has made a home in not only Manhattan but also Los Angeles, Nashville, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
During the late summer of 2014, Briana Sophia Young was introduced to Jose (Tio) Manzanarez, an elderly man who lives out in the desert of Abiquiu, New Mexico, also known as O’Keeffe Country. Tio grew up dirt poor in the 40s on his grandfather’s farm. His parents were alcoholics, schooling was not valued, and most days were spent under his grandfather’s watch tending to the horses and the cattle- a classic, desolate childhood tale. However, his world changed when he was fourteen. Upon his grandfather’s insistence he went to work at a neighbor’s home, “an elderly woman who lived all alone and needed help around her house.” That woman was Georgia O’Keeffe. Tio would come of age while working for Miss O’Keeffe for the next 14 years, and while he has lectured and spoke of his memories of this time, his stories have not yet been published.
After conducting several interviews with Tio, Briana Sophia Young is writing O’Keeffe Country: A Memoir of Driving Miss O’Keeffe. This book will finally reveal Tio’s stories of assisting the 20th century’s premier female artist and introduce readers to the fascinating history and culture of the region of the Southwest known as Abiquiu, New Mexico.