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About Michael

Unleash Your Child’s Artistic Potential with Michael Gallagher’s Private Art Lessons


Introduction and Early Life

Michael Gallagher, celebrated artist and educator, was born in Los Angeles, with the city’s energy and coastal landscapes fostering his budding artistic interests. Michael’s mother nurtured his fascination for art by taking him to local museums where he discovered works from masters like Picasso, Matisse, van Gogh, and others, and equipped him with art supplies to emulate their techniques. His passion for art grew alongside his love for surfing during summers on the beaches of Malibu and Santa Monica. He found inspiration in the ocean and sky and in artist biographies, notably Francoise Gilot’s “Life with Picasso.” These early experiences laid the groundwork for his distinguished career in art and education.

Education and Inspirations

Michael’s journey into formal art education began at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a vibrant hub for creativity and innovation. Afterward, he attended the University of Southern California (USC), where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). This period of his life was marked by intense artistic growth and exploration. His exceptional talent and dedication to his craft led to a prestigious Yale Fellowship in Music and Art, an honor that underscores his multidimensional approach to creativity.

During his time at USC, UCLA, and Yale, Michael had the privilege of studying under some of the most reknowned visual artist-educators of the time, including David Hockney, Al Held, Jack Tworkov, Joseph Albers, Robert Motherwell, Walker Evans, Lester Johnson, and Barbara Rose. Each of these distinguished figures brought unique perspectives and techniques to the table, enriching Michael’s artistic vocabulary and shaping his pedagogical philosophy.

David Hockney’s vibrant pop art, Jack Tworkov’s abstract expressionism, Joseph Albers’ theories on color, Robert Motherwell’s bold prints, Walker Evans’ influential photography, Lester Johnson’s dynamic figures, Barbara Rose’s profound art criticism, and Al Held’s geometric abstraction – all these diverse influences helped mold Michael’s artistic sensibilities. Their shared passion for both creation and teaching deeply inspired Michael and instilled in him a lifelong commitment to both painting and education. Their influence left an indelible mark on his creative journey, shaping him into the accomplished artist and dedicated educator he is today.

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.

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, primarily gifted Chinese immigrants, 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…”