Meet the Beats: Jay DeFeo
Jay DeFeo is one of the visual artists of the Beat Generation. Born in Hanover, NH, Jay moved to CA at a young age where she attended the University of California, Berkeley. Most well known for her work “the Rose,” she created an extensive body of work comprised of drawings, paintings, photos and photo collages. DeFeo and her contemporaries often relied on cheap paints, plasters, butcher paper, and other accessible materials to create their work.
In the early 1950s, Jay traveled throughout Europe and North Africa before settling back into the San Francisco art scene where she dedicated eight years of her life to completing “the Rose.” DeFeo was the subject of a recent retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and her life and work have been explored in several recent publications like Jay DeFeo and the Rose and Jay DeFeo: Chiaroscuro.
Several of her pieces are also featured in the Wennesland Collection, the largest collection of San Francisco Beat art, which is housed in Kristiansand, Norway. For more information on the collection and the San Francisco Beat art scene, check out these texts by Frida Forsgren: San Francisco Beat Art in Norway and Beat Lives.