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.