NARRATOR: DeFeo made this untitled photographic collage in 1973.

 

COREY KELLER: In this work, you see a photograph that she has made of a rose.

NARRATOR: Corey Keller.

COREY KELLER: She's carefully ripped along the contours of the rose's shape, tearing the photographic paper so that the actual fibers of the paper are exposed.

Then she's glued it onto a second piece of paper, on which you can see a fairly ghostly shape of her hand. The second photograph is a photogram made by placing her hand on the photographic paper and exposing it to light. So what it literally is, is a shadow of her hand, and then she has pasted the rose on top of that.

The work is actually three dimensional, and it has a very subtle sculptural quality to it. Which of course refers to so much of her other work. The subject, the rose, is easily refers back to her magnum opus, the painting The Rose, as does the sculptural quality of the photogram.

The hand could refer to herself as a maker. It's a way of referencing her own intervention in the process. It's a way of saying, "I was here."


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