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Rip Tales: Jay DeFeo's Estocada and Other Pieces

Rip Tales: Jay DeFeo's Estocada and Other Pieces

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By Jordan Stein

In 1965, Jay DeFeo (1929–89) was evicted from her San Francisco apartment, along with the 2,000-pound colossus of a painting for which she would become legendary, The Rose. The morning after it was carried out the front window, DeFeo was forced to destroy the only other artwork she’d started in six years, an enormous painting on paper stapled directly to her hallway wall. The unfinished Estocada―a kind of shadow Rose―was ripped down in unruly pieces and reanimated years later in her studio through photography, photocopy, collage and relief.

Drawing from largely unpublished archival material, 
Rip Tales traces for the first time Estocada’s material history, interweaving it with stories about other Bay Area artists―Zarouhie Abdalian, April Dawn Alison, Ruth Asawa, Lutz Bacher, Bruce Conner, Dewey Crumpler, Trisha Donnelly and Vincent Fecteau―that likewise evoke themes of transformation, intuition and process. Foregrounding a Bay Area ethos that could be defined by its resistance to definition, Rip Tales explores the unpredictable edges of artworks and ideas.

  • Soberscove Press, 2021
  • Softcover, 150 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches

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