My father Jeff Keen was one of the great maverick figures of the British post-war avant-garde. His work revelled in a wild spirit of anarchic play, celebrated roots in Dada and Surrealism and demonstrated true love for popular culture and the ‘home made’.
Keen received international acclaim for his experimental films and expanded cinema projects, most recently with an installation in The Tanks at Tate Modern. What hasn’t been recognised until recently is his innovative and prolific output as an artist and poet, as well as groundbreaking work with experimental sound. With such close interrelations between the films and his astounding body of paintings, drawings, assemblages and poetry - it is time to redress the balance.
Having worked with him all my life up until his death in 2012 - both as a star of the films, camera assistant and performer/musician in his later expanded cinema shows - I felt it important to try and convey as much of the story as possible. One of many things he taught me was the joy of ‘no-budget’ art - how you can create magic from nothing but your own limitless imagination.
This website will be updated regularly as we continue the important work in getting my father’s work the recognition it so rightly deserves.
Stella Keen, Director of The Jeff Keen Archive.