James Gallagher uses collage to investigate human form and personal identity. His work has been exhibited in galleries around the world and featured in publications such as The Lab Magazine, Elephant Magazine, unFlop Paper and NYArts. His images have appeared in numerous books from Die Gestalten Verlag, including the 2010 title Cutting Edges: Contemporary Collage which Gallagher co-edited. Over the past decade he has curated numerous international collage exhibition and is the publisher, editor and creative director of the contemporary art magazine Secret Behavior which launched to much acclaim in 2013. Gallagher earned a BFA from The School of Visual Arts in New York City. In addition to creating and curating art, Gallagher is the Creative Director for the Museum of Sex in NYC and an Instructor at Parsons the New School for Design. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.
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.