James Gallagher uses collage to investigate human form and personal identity. His work has been shown in galleries around the world, and he curates a series of exhibitions showcasing contemporary collage entitled Cutters. Gallagher’s art has been featured in publications such as The Lab Magazine, Elephant Magazine, unFlop Paper, NYArts, and Lines & Shapes. His images have appeared in numerous books from Die Gestalten Verlag, including the 2010 title Cutting Edges: Contemporary Collage which Gallagher co-edited. In addition, the street wear company Stussy launched a series of StussyxJamesGallagher tee shirts along with a video profile in 2011. Gallagher earned a BFA from The School of Visual Arts in New York City. In addition to creating art, Gallagher is a Creative Director for a Marketing Firm and an Instructor at Parsons the New School for Design. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three kids.
I sit at a large wooden table and piece together fragments of the world around me. My goal is to capture a fleeting moment and examine its beauty, ugliness, solitude and desire. Using found photographic imagery I investigate the human form by constructing scenes that deal with personal space, physical relationships and secret behavior. My focus turns away from personal identities, and towards the subtleties of gesture, tension, and intimacy. My story lines are hidden inside of enigmatic situations taken from shreds of my experiences in New York City. I collect my source materials from such places as recycled vintage books, sex manuals, clothing catalogs and anything else that can be folded into my world. With a combination of calculated moves, and unrehearsed accidents, my scraps find each other and solidify. The forms come together rapidly since my impatient style is to grab materials within reach and manipulate with quick bursts of cutting and pasting. This spontaneous process often generates raw, emotional images that I feel excited and personally moved by. Ultimately I hope to capture something that feels natural (or unnatural) and then leave it up to the viewer to decide its significance.