Empress Trash (Drea Jay) is a multi-versatile visual artist currently residing in Mexico City with her rottweiler Glitch. A lifelong artist, she earned her BFA in Painting, Drawing, and Animation/Design from the University of Iowa in 2014. Shortly after, she moved to the Bay Area which she assisted and worked alongside a multitude of local and international artists and shows including Ai Wei Wei’s show on Alcatraz, being a member of the Firehouse Art Collective run by Tom Franco, and running her own underground shows from her house. She started in crypto art in 2021 and since has been exhibited internationally including Tokyo, Seoul, NYC, Paris, Palm Springs, Miami, Rome, LA, SXSW, Mexico City, Melbourne with Sotheby's, SuperChief, Nox Gallery, Aeon Studioverse, Oshi Gallery, Unit London, Flux Collective, imnotArt and Ted Talks Conference in Vancouver.
The Empress portion of her name represents her ongoing search for sovereignty and elevated autonomy since emancipated herself from her extremely physically, mentally, sexually and spiritually abusive Schizophrenic, addict mother at the age of 13, while Trash stands for her aesthetic and her roots as "trailer trash". Art for her is the only constant in a tumultuous life and a safe space to confront demons from a highly isolated, oppressive and chaotic upbringing while critiquing systemic inequities and media representation of feminity in what has been called "a playfully controversial manner".
As a process orientated artist, Empress embraces abstraction, surrealism, trash, glitch, and AI while exploring new technologies intergrating and experimenting as she goes. She utilizes radical expressionism and self-acceptance to further her journey of self discovery while exploring topics of intersectional feminism, consumerism and mass media. Her work is meditative and strives to peel back the veneer of reality to allow for exploration of the subconscious meta connections between the emotional, physical, mental, sexual and spiritual realms.