Desy Safán-Gerard was born in Chile where she studied musical composition with Leon Shidlovsky and Gustavo Becerra. She is a painter as well as a training and supervising analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California in Los Angeles. Desy graduated in psychology from the University of Chile, Santiago, won a Fulbright scholarship to the Psychology Department at the University of California, Berkeley, and earned a PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA in 1974.

Ever since she began to paint in 1971 she has led a dual life. As a psychoanalyst she has been carrying out her clinical work, written several important papers on creativity, and taught psychoanalytic courses. As a painter she translates music into the visual realm, and creates paintings based on the music of Boulez, Shostakovich, Piazzola, Brockman, and Kraft. Her “Boulez Series” of nine paintings, ‘Le Marteau Sans Maître’, was displayed in the “Music to the Eye” exhibit at LA Artcore in 2003.

A survey show covering fourteen years of paintings and drawings by Desy was held at the Pete and Susan Barrett Art Gallery in Santa Monica in 2007. In 2009, the Stuttgart Deutsch-Amerkanisches Zentrum held “Contrasts: Contemporary Art in the USA and Germany,” which featured Desy’s five canvases and fourteen works on paper titled “Timeless and Unmetered.” In February 2010, one of Desy’s paintings was acquired for the permanent collection of the Villa Haiss Museum in Zell, Germany.

In 2015, two of Desy’s paintings were acquired by the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) for their permanent collection.

Desy in her studio preparing for an exhibition at Wickiser Gallery, New York, 2014

Desy and model Maria Clark at Galerie DUFAY/BONNET, Paris, 2012, working on Boulez’s Notations

Desy’s performance at ArtShare LA, Mirrors of the Mind II, 2013