Jay DeFeo’s oeuvre has largely been contextualized through her most famous painting The Rose. This thesis explores the significance of photography for her artistic practice, both before and after The Rose. In the 1950s DeFeo’s use of photography was limited, resulting in only a handful of photo-collages. As she worked on The Rose, DeFeo and others photographed the piece to document the painting’s growth, with DeFeo herself at times posing in front of the painting. A crucial change occurred in 1970 when DeFeo moved behind the camera, as it were, becoming the photographer and taking agency over the camera.
As a photographer, DeFeo focused on transforming the mundane objects of her home and studio into visual ideas that fed into the development of her broader practice. Coupled with her existing media of oil, acrylic, graphite, pencil (or a combination of these), the resulting photographs became both stand-alone artworks and “models” for countless drawings and paintings that followed. Her photographs, collages, and paintings will be analyzed as examples of what Umberto Eco has called principle of “openness,” a principle of expansion in which individual artworks have no predetermined end, and instead privilege the act of creation over any final product. The idea of a final product, or “end,” to this development is endlessly defended.
|Commitee:||Kleinfelder, Karen, Holliday, Peter|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|Department:||Art, School of|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 81/7(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Abstract Expressionism, Beat Generation, DeFeo, Jay , Openness, Photography, Eco, Umberto|
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