Jacqueline Gallagher



Above is work by Jacqueline Gallagher that features in ‘Of Melancholy and Monkey Business’ is a new collection of vibrant yet bizarre oil portraits of sideshow attractions, circus monkeys, hybrid kittens and the undead. This strange menagerie of subjects is threaded through the themes of control, addiction, and the unconscious. The female figures are depicted as either undead, being suckled by bulbous tentacles or as Feejee mermaids, bound in a moment of suspension or stasis by their circumstances. These intriguingly dark portraits are illuminated by the inclusion of luminescent colors that create an electrifying neon lighting effect. These choices further the tension between the grotesque and beautiful, as well as the dark humor infused throughout her smaller works.

Jacqueline Gallagher was raised in the paradise of Hawaii on the Island of Oahu, choosing to relocate to Ohio to focus on her grim narratives. Her oil portraits, often considered self-portraits, focus on the themes of identity within the scope of zombies and other macabre subject matter. Often infusing her work with dark humor, the portraits are testaments to the unknown as much as they are to the human psyche and it’s many complexities. She holds a BFA in painting from The University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Realistic Trash Polka

This is a group pf artists from a studio in Germany that i really wanted to share called  the Buena Vista Tattoo Club, they call this style realistic trash polka and it is a mix of street art, graphics, street and old style typography, realistic portraits and also has punk rock elements to it. The tattoos are a college of all these elements in a limited palette of just black and red, and when i first came across them this style was totally unique, they owned it! The founding  fathers of this unique style are tattoo artists Volko Merschky and Simone Pfaff. As an artist Volko studied interior design and Simone studied graphic design, they also did photography. Together they developed this new style containing halftones, color overlay, brush strokes, stains and vintage fonts that seem to come from an old typewriter in a black and white plus one color palette are the elements surrounding stunning realistic skulls and portraits, usually displayed on large skin portions.

In their shop you have two opportunities, the first is to give them total freedom to create the art freehand, but as a customer you can also give a certain theme, maybe some keywords in combination with a song, poem or a quote. Out of this, the design will be created by these two artists from their understanding of the theme. By doing it this way, they can develop their own style and create completely unique designs that are sure to be one of a kind.

Working with moods, it’s more an abstract way of working, but that kind of input lets them give their best with your idea. Telling them exactly what you want in the design, that’s not how they work.

“Well, the tattoo designs we create don’t fit into any known or common styles, so we made up our minds to think of a term that would describe it best. We came up with Realistic Trash Polka because all in all, it’s a mixture of realistic elements combined with abstract or sometimes, graphic parts which represent the ‘trash’ part of the phrase. While this may be an unusual combination, it’s familiar from music, as a polka. So, the term polka comes from our inspiration from the music – especially from our own music and songwriting. Basically, Realistic Trash Polka is all of those things combined with what happens when we come together to create. It’s simply the two of us, our name, our brand and our style.”

Message in a Bottle: A Village Made of Recycled Bottles

This is an amazing story I came across when trying to find something to do with all the bottles we have amassed since the local offey sells Bakalar for just a euro!

simi valley california bottle village recycled upcycled buildings

You can always count on your grandma to make wonderful crafty things, but Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village in Simi Valley, CA has to be the ultimate in granny creativity. It was built by Tressa Prisbrey (better known as Grandma Prisbrey) alone, and the construction spanned 25 years. Though Grandma Prisbrey never considered herself an artist, her creativity is clear to everyone who walks through to marvel at the site.

california bottle village glass bottles recycled building

thousands of recycled bottles used in bottle village

Tressa Prisbrey began construction of the Bottle Village in 1956. Initially, her goal was to build a structure to house her 17,000-piece pencil collection. She collected discarded beer bottles from her alcoholic husband and pieced them together, one by one, to make the first building. But that was only the beginning. Eventually, her creations grew to include 13 full-size structures, an impressive mosaic walkway, and several shrines and wishing wells. Grandma Prisbrey’s sculptures were made from found and discarded objects, mostly collected on her daily trips to the local dump.

grandma prisbrey bottle village recycled doll head sculpture

bottle village recycled bottles leaning tower

From the early days of the Bottle Village until she was forced to leave the site due to ill health in 1982, Grandma Prisbrey gave walking tours of the buildings and sculptures. From the huge Round House to the Rumpus Room to Cleopatra’s Bedroom, the tours would always end in the meditation room with Grandma Prisbrey playing piano songs for her guests.

simi valley bottle village recycled mosaic walkway

building with recycled glass bottles simi valley california

The old bottles that form the walls of the buildings make the air shimmer and dance with color, while the items embedded in the walkway create a sort of time capsule from the 1950s. It’s a magical place, made all the more impressive when you remember that it was all built by one woman. Sadly, Bottle Village was badly damaged in an earthquake in 1994. Caretakers are still trying to raise the funds necessary to restore the site.

california bottle village pencil house

Today, only seven of the original 13 structures still stand. The Bottle Village was declared an official landmark of Simi Valley in 1979, and a California State Historical Landmark in 1981. It still draws supporters and visitors from around the world, but it remains in need of restoration. The Preserve Bottle Village Committee continue to work to secure grant money for the project, but as of yet the massive restoration has not been able to take place.

grandma prisbrey bottle houses dolls soda tab dresses

While Grandma Prisbrey didn’t think of herself as an artist, she did some extremely remarkable things. She was recycling and upcycling before those words were even in use. She led a difficult life, yet managed to find joy and beauty in the things that most of us simply throw away without a second thought. And through her unique creations, she may have healed herself: making treasure from trash is such a therapeutic thing. Her legacy will continue to endure as long as people are mesmerized by her colorful bottle buildings and off-the-wall trash sculptures.