For those of you who might be interested in these kind of things, I’ve included a couple of the books that can be found, usually wedged under a tub of ink, within the studio. When all the screens are cleaned and the prints are drying in the racks these smudged books are my usual means of filling time. They act as both inspiration and a gentle reward at the end of the repetitive printing process. Here are two that I have gone back to regularly over the last month or so.
In the Sweet Bye Bye - Margaret Kilgallen
As far as I am aware the only book dedicated to the brief life and work of the US artist Margaret Kilgallen. I can’t remember where or when Kilgallen's work first caught my eye. Possibly it was the film of Kilgallen herself painting upon the trains of San Francisco. The film captures Kilgallen, along with her husband Barry McGee tagging their way across the freight trains of the US and decorating them with her folk tinged imagery. ‘In the Sweet Bye Bye’ captures the spirit of her work and documents her distinctive images across the galleries and walls of the US through photos, paintings and sketchbook pages. With her sign-makers eye for typography Kilgallen was drawn to the beauty of the wavering line, the hand made and a fascination with the imperfect. ‘In the Sweet Bye Bye’ is well worth a look if you can find it, if not seek out the film ‘Beautiful Losers’. Here, along with a range of others, Kilgallen discussed her interests and explored why she made art.
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