Joe de Feo paints in oils, acrylic, watercolor, and casein to create mostly representational paintings that emphasize technique, materials, and process. His pieces begin with a technical challenge or question, and he devises rules that govern brushstrokes, color, depth, and detail for each painting or series. Solving the puzzle of each painting entails iteratively applying and occasionally breaking these rules. His work often juxtaposes the geometric with the organic, the hard-edged with the calligraphic, and the stylized with the realistic. He creates tension that prompts a closer look at the work and the world beyond the frame.

A native of Brooklyn, he graduated from Yale University and worked in nonprofits in New York and Washington, D.C. before co-founding a sustainability and risk management consulting firm. For fifteen years, he painted before the city woke up and after it finished its workday. He now paints full-time in Washington. He has shown his work in the U.S. and Costa Rica.