Artist Katherine Gallagher grew up watching the classic movies of Hollywood's Golden Era on television with her mom. As an adult, she transformed her fascination with old flicks into sophisticated paintings that comment upon the influence and nostalgia of these movies in American culture. Although these black-and-white films were highly stylized and not in any way “real,” they shaped how Americans viewed reality and their own lives. Gallagher therefore uses her paintings to comment upon the puns and paradoxes of this relationship, and to question how the consumption of and fixation upon these films skews reality and perception.
Many of Gallagher’s works are influenced by the art scene of the late '70s and early '80s, specifically Pop art. The layering of bold, bright colors over iconic film stills and actors in Gallagher’s work, serves to highlight the artifice of the black-and-white films she depicts. Like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and other icons of the genre, Gallagher takes images we are all familiar with and perhaps even idolize, and forces us to question their origin and meaning.