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About the Artist

Michael Gallagher: A Journey of Artistic Exploration and Innovation

Renowned for his groundbreaking work in Abstract Illusionism, Michael Gallagher stands as a testament to artistic innovation and dedication. Born in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, Michael’s early life was steeped in creativity, with influences ranging from the dynamic landscapes of the Californian coast to the masterful works of Picasso, Matisse, and van Gogh. This diverse exposure, coupled with his passion for surfing, shaped his unique perspective on art and life.

Michael’s artistic journey flourished through formal education at UCLA and USC, culminating in a prestigious Yale Fellowship. Under the tutelage of luminaries like David Hockney, Robert Motherwell, and Joseph Albers, he honed a distinctive style that blends abstract expressionism with a deep understanding of color and form. His work, which explores 3D illusionistic space, challenges traditional perceptions and invites viewers into a world of abstract beauty and infinite possibilities.

Professional Evolution and Contributions to the Art World

After Yale, Michael Gallagher commenced his artistic career, painting his first one-man show in his self-built studio in Westport, Connecticut. Alongside fellow Yale graduates, he founded Razor Gallery in Soho, which hosted his debut exhibition in 1974, guest readings by notable authors, and the first graffiti exhibit. Michael’s distinctive style, blending influences of various abstract expressionists, won acclaim and resulted in his work being added to the Jewish Museum’s collection.

As a founding member of the Abstract Illusionism school, Michael’s innovative artwork focuses on new perceptions and 3D illusionistic space. His work is featured in numerous esteemed national museum collections, and he has held over seventy national and international exhibitions, with acknowledgments spanning various media outlets.

In addition to his personal artistic endeavors, Michael has significantly contributed to the New York art scene. He was a pioneering artist in Soho, New York, helping to transform the neighborhood into the internationally reknowned center for contemporary art that it is today. The Razor Gallery, founded and managed by Michael and his Yale colleagues, played a crucial role in this transformation, acting as a hub for exhibitions and cultural events in the heart of Soho.

Artistic Philosophy and Approach

Michael Gallagher’s artistry emphasizes authentic expression and profound perception exploration. He asserts that true art seeks truth beyond factual representation, enabling fresh perspectives that invoke our inner child’s innocence and imagination.

As a key contributor to Abstract Illusionism, Michael’s work produces an intriguing effect, where painted images seem to extend or recede from the canvas, providing depth and dimension. This method, while primarily abstract, challenges the realistic portrayal of traditional trompe l’oeil, offering a unique and engaging interaction with art.

Fuelled by an intense yearning to reveal truths surpassing conventional understanding, Michael’s art aims to reawaken viewers’ sense of wonder and imagination. His work transmutes life’s complexities, ambiguities, and paradoxes into visually harmonious, insightful experiences, promoting positivity amid chaos. His art sends a potent message about a realm of boundless possibilities and choices. By ingeniously blending illusions with abstract forms, Michael bridges reality and the abstract, inviting viewers to delve into perception’s mysteries and appreciate abstract beauty’s depth and magnificence.

Michael Gallagher: Fostering Creativity and Personal Growth through Art Education

Michael Gallagher, an esteemed artist and educator, is dedicated to nurturing a transformative journey in the realm of art education. His teaching philosophy goes beyond the traditional art techniques, emphasizing the role of art as a powerful catalyst for personal growth, emotional expression, and the discovery of inner strengths.

In Gallagher’s approach to teaching, the foundational elements of art – such as color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value – are more than just techniques; they are gateways to a deeper exploration of art. This journey surpasses mere technical skills, delving into the emotional and human aspects of artistic expression. His aim is to cultivate empathy, encourage self-expression, and help students find their unique artistic voice.

Recognizing the individuality of each learner, Gallagher customizes his teaching methods to meet their specific needs, respecting different learning styles and fostering a sense of independence. His classes provide nurturing environments where students of all skill levels are encouraged to freely express their artistic visions and explore their creative impulses.

At the core of Gallagher’s teaching philosophy is the development of a lifelong love for learning. He endeavors to nourish the innate curiosity in his students, fueling their continuous exploration and growth in the art world. Through his guidance, students embark on an enriching journey, learning not only to create art but also to view the world through a lens of creativity, passion, and respect.

For Gallagher, art education is not just about mastering the ability to draw or paint; it is about embarking on a lifelong relationship with art, seeing the world with renewed wonder, curiosity, and a deep appreciation for the expressive power of the arts.

Teaching Experience and Approach

Michael Gallagher’s teaching approach is comprehensive and interactive, blending practical art creation, art history, and creative problem-solving. His empathetic and curious nature, coupled with an eclectic sensibility, enrich his guidance and mentorship of students with diverse interests.

Holding a California Standard Teaching Credential, Michael has an extensive art education background. He served as an Associate Instructor at Fullerton Community College, CA, teaching Art History, Art Appreciation, Studio Painting, and Life Drawing, as well as Adult Art Ed – Studio Painting for experienced students.

At New Canaan High School, CT, he taught a college-prep studio course, Painting and Drawing (AP), covering diverse topics and mentored students in portfolio creation for college applications. Here, Michael introduced an innovative Humanities AP course, ‘Possibilities,’ which explored the avant-garde creativity of the early 1900s across various subjects, leading to a 19% increase in student acceptances to top Ivy League schools.

Recently, Michael has been teaching K-12 students, in schools and private lessons, continuing his commitment to nurturing creativity in the future generation of artists.

Conclusion and Current Work

Currently, Michael continues to inspire young artists and adult learners alike through his private art lessons. His future plans involve continuing to paint and developing additional courses and continuing to foster creativity and artistic talent within his community…”