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Roy De Forest Works Biography

B. 1930 – D. 2007

Roy De Forest was an American painter best known for depictions of bizarre, often humorous scenes. Painted in vivid color, his works are frequently populated by cartoon dogs, farm animals, and dissolving forms. He is considered a pioneering figure in the Funk and Nut Art movements, along with other prominent artists like Peter Saul, Gladys Nilsson, and Jim Nutt. His work, Country Dog Gentlmen (1972), is a hallmark example of his self-described practice as an “obscure visual constructor of mechanical delights.”

Born on February 11, 1930 in North Platte, Nebraska to a farming family, his father was forced to move to them to Yakima, WA during the Great Depression. De Forest went on to study at the California School of Fine Arts, earning a BA in 1953. Later, while working as a sign painter for the US military, he earned his MFA from San Francisco State College.

Today, the artist’s work can be found among the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. De Forest died on May 18, 2007 in Vallejo, CA.

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