Bay Area artist Jay DeFeo had one guideline when she began painting “The Rose” in 1958: to create “an idea that had a center.” Her sole focus for eight years, it bloomed into a 12.7 x 8 foot, one foot-thick mixed-media monument, weighing over a ton.
When Dana Lyn tells people this story, common responses are, “She seems tortured,” and, “She must have been mentally ill,” which caused her to wonder: Why is it crazy to be passionate about what you are creating, to never let up, until you feel that you have finished? If DeFeo were a man, would she instead be looked at as a genius and celebrated for her commitment to her work?
A Point on a Slow Curve is inspired by the creation story of “The Rose.” Scored for four female voices, violin, clarinet, cello, bassoon, vibraphone, upright bass, and drums, it is presented in eight movements — one for each year that DeFeo worked on the piece — plus a coda entitled “Removal,” inspired by the removal of the painting from the artist’s apartment. This has become one of those situations when life starts to mirror art…
The release event for A Point on a Slow Curve will take place at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater on Tuesday, October 18. Doors open at 6pm (ET).
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit publictheater.org.