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margaret kilgallen


I am on my way to Hawaii today, clearly a perfect excuse to write about Margaret Kilgallen’s surfers… again. I have no idea how many times I’ve written about her. I love all of Margaret’s work so much, and have fallen down a ridiculous number of internet rabbit holes searching for more about her. Images, interviews, and my favorite… a handful of documentary style videos in which you can hear her talk about what/who inspired her, and a chance to watch her work. In 2001 at the age of 33 she passed away {a huge loss to the art world}, and so these videos are even more special. My favorite Margaret Kilgallen quote is from this video. Here’s the gist:

“In my own work I do everything by hand… my hand will always be imperfect, because it’s human…  If I spend a lot of time going over the line and over the line trying to make it straight, I will never be able to make it straight. You can always see the line waiver, and I think that’s where the beauty is.”

Sigh. So, so true.

i’m jealous of margaret kilgallen… again


I was just clicking around on YouTube today, as you do on a lazy Sunday morning, and I came across this video of Margaret Kilgallen talking about her work. I have been a fan of Margaret’s work for years and wrote about her last February. Sadly, Margaret died in 2001 at the very young age of 33, and until today’s video I had only seen the odd photo of her. It was fantastic to see her painting, and talking about her process. Her philosophies around work done by hand are so inspiring. I’m not going to beat myself up for an imperfect line ever again! Thanks Margaret… wherever you are.

i’m jealous of margaret kilgallen


The cover of a PRINT Magazine from 2003 is still tacked up on the bulletin board in my studio. Margaret Kilgallen, a SanFrancisco painter and installation artist, graced the cover. It was one of the first times I felt truly inspired, and then completely envious of someone’s enormous artistic talent. She was an amazingly gifted artist who, very sadly, stopped painting far too early. She was 33 when she died due to complications from breast cancer. Imagine what she might have created if she had lived a few more decades.

mando marie

To say that I have loved the work of Mando Marie since the moment I started this blog would be spot on … right down to the minute, in fact. Today, February 22nd, marks NINE YEARS since I launched the very first post as “The Jealous Curator”. Nine years? Insane. There were a handful of artists whose work I was obsessed with back then … oh who am I kidding, I still am! One of them was of course, American painter/street artist Mando Marie. I even managed to get her on the podcast not too long ago! Another artist I have always loved? American folk/street artist Margaret Kilgallen … so imagine my delight when I found the piece at the bottom of this post … one of Mando’s girls reading Margaret Kilgallen’s book, In the Sweet Bye and Bye. Perfect to mark the anniversary of this beautiful, crazy, artsy ride that I’ve been on for almost a decade. Thank you all so much for coming along with me! Sharing the work of amazing artists from all over the world brings me pure joy – whether it’s through the blog, Instagram, my books, or the podcast. Here’s to the first nine years, and hopefully decades more to come.

emily fromm

These are the comic book inspired acrylic paintings {paintings!?} of San Francisco based artist Emily Fromm. Her color choices are stunning, her subject matter is fabulously kitschy, and I cannot get enough of her hand-painted signs! And, I hope she doesn’t mind me making the comparison, but there is a touch of Margaret Kilgallen in some of her pieces {who happens to be one of my most favorite artists of all time.} Here are a few words from Emily’s site about why she paints what she paints:

“Having been raised in the outskirts of Los Angeles, she was heavily influenced by the over-the-top yet seedy aesthetic of the American West, and often highlights signage, architecture and the iconic style of the region in her paintings. She applies a graphic style that is familiar and nostalgic to these settings, incorporating imagery that is mundane and often low brow, to contrast these grandiose scenes with everyday life.”

… and so  you can see the ‘grandiose’ scale of some of her work:

*This image is from a show at Mighty Box Gallery, SF

“a disciplined free spirit”


A “disciplined free spirit” … that is officially my new life goal! Also, I want to change my name to Bunnie. This was such a funny, inspiring, and yes, cosmic conversation with Los Angeles based artist Bunnie Reiss. I only discovered her work last month, but the moment I did, I knew I had to have her on the podcast! You can listen right under those fabulously “cosmic animal gloves”, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, a few magical/cosmic paintings to put you in a Bunnie state of mind:


Oh. My. Well, that leads perfectly into this next batch of cosmic work. This is the book Bunnie made, titled The Cosmic Child, that we were talking about. It’s absolutely stunning. And cosmic:


Beautiful! It’s currently sold out (no surprise!), but she’s organizing another run very soon so keep your eye on her shop!

Next, I mentioned that Bunnie seems to really like painting on, well, everything. She agreed. Here’s proof:


See? We weren’t kidding! Boots, walls, books, and yes, her car.

These next images are so dreamy. This is what she was working on while she was in Paris last month … pastel and quiet and soft:


Lovely. It’s so cool that the work continues to look like hers, but the palettes and details often change depending on where she’s traveling. And yes, Bunnie travels a lot! {ps. these three images are from her inspiring Instagram feed}

And now, her murals. Of all the things Bunnie paints on, buildings are her favorite. Oh, and if you want her to paint on, or in, your building, CONTACT HER, because she’ll end up doing something like this:


Love! I included that scaffolding shot because she had talked about gridding out her murals by using the squares of the scaffolding… I’m going to have to trust her on that one, because my brain would not do that. My brain, however, can totally understand squirrels and rabbits eating donuts ♥

And last but not least, her gloves. This is how I first discovered the wonderful world of Bunnie Reiss, so I just had to share them again:


Gah! I love them so much… so much in fact that included a pair in the upcoming show, PRETTY / PECULIAR, that I co-curated at the Alison Milne Gallery in Toronto! If you’re in Toronto from Dec 1 – Jan 7th you have to go see them in person {ps. Dec 1 opening party info below}

And finally, a meringue-covered result of the not-so-speedy speed round:


Oh, that photo makes me so happy. Sunshine, laughing, and a GIANT lemon pie in Paris. Ah, oui… c’est parfait. Thank you so much to Bunnie for doing this with me and sharing all of her goosebump-inducing wisdom; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting yet another episode; thanks to for making my new book into an audio book – it’s officially available now – and of course, thank YOU so much for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Bunnie’s shop (ps. A new series of affordable works will be available first weekend of December… including 6 new sets of Cosmic Animal Gloves!)
  2. Margaret Kilgallen video/quote about embracing the imperfect lines
  3. Honfleur Gallery, Washington DC
  4. “Pretty / Peculiar” Show at Alison Milne Gallery, Toronto

      * “Pretty / Peculiar” Opening Dec 1, 7-9pm RSVP:


A project for today! Listen to this…

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NWMA), the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating great women artists, has announced a new social media campaign for this March’s Women’s History Month. If you ask someone to name five artists, they will likely name prominent male artists, but how many people can list five women artists? To increase awareness the museum will launch the campaign “Can you name five women artists?” March 1 on its website and blog as well as on social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Using the hashtag #5womenartists, the campaign will encourage NMWA’s online community to help address the gender imbalance in the presentation of art both in the United States and internationally.

Oh, I am so in… mind you, I could name 500 women artists that I love, but I’ll play by the rules. Here are 5 of my {many} favorite artists, who also happen to be women:


Alright yes, that was 6, but I had to make sure that the mysterious and talented Vivian Maier was in there too! Ok, now it’s your turn – jump on those social media channels and name #5womenartists whose work you love {contemporary or historical} and help make it really easy for people to be able to name five women artists ♥

{click on the artwork above to see more of their work}

girl crush

I have a crush. Well, I have quite a few actually… so many, in fact, that I’ve turned them into a new series of guest posts, that start today, on the always lovely sfgirlbybay. The series is called girl crush. Can you guess why? Yep, the posts will feature amazing women artists that I have huge art crushes on! Here’s why I chose to do this…

When I was in university, I minored in Art History. As a young female artist, I wanted to know why there weren’t more women in my textbooks… surely they existed?! And it wasn’t just the Renaissance and Rococo periods that were lacking – I have a Pop Art book filled with artists that I love, but there is not one woman in it. Doesn’t that seem kinda crazy? Yes, yes it does. Luckily, contemporary art seems to be balancing things out a little more… I know that more than half of my posts feature women. Granted, I’m jealous of work regardless of the artist’s gender, but as a woman artist myself, I absolutely love to see, and celebrate, the successes of inspiring, crush-worthy “girls”… hence the catchy title of this series! Sigh… I have so many crushes, on so many artists, that these posts just might go on forever! So, now that I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve, you can tell me… who do you ?

{textbook worthy images by: 1. Tina Berning 2. Martha Rich 3. Maia Flore 4. Laura McKellar 5. Beth Hoeckle 6. Margaret Kilgallen ♥♥♥}

The cake is frosted, the candles are lit, and the only thing left for me to do is make a wish. But this year I won’t be wishing for a new pony. Nope. This year I’m making a wish fit for a jealous curator. I want this party. I have picked the perfect location, invited amazing guests {who I would love a chance to share a piece of cake with}, and even made it easy for all of you by providing a detailed list of birthday gifts that I would like. Yep, I have planned it all right down to the dishware. So, turn up the music, have a piece of cake, and start mingling because… it’s my party!


…provided by Sarah Applebaum

…courtesy of the 1980’s

… refreshments by The Design Conspiracy

… burgers by Jeff Vespa

… cake(s) by Martha Rich

… all of which will be served on dishware by Esther Derkx

Andy Warhol

Jeff Koons

Ed Ruscha

Cindy Sherman

Diane Arbus

Margaret Kilgallen

{plus all of you of course!}

Any painting by Wayne White

PULP ART BOOK by Neil Krug & Joni Harbeck

Cable-knit trophy by Rachel Denny

‘Mounds’ Necklace by Margaux Lange

‘Le Dot’ Zine by Anthony Zinonos

‘Optical’ chandelier by Stuart Haygarth

Ahhh, what a lovely party! Thank you all so much for coming… you can leave your gifts by the door.

top 15 most soul-crushing posts of ’09

I truly love every piece of art that I write about, so it’s really hard to pick a ‘Top 10’… so I’m doing a ‘Top 15’. It has literally taken me hours to decide on only 15. Maybe I should do a ‘Top 100’ next year? Anyway, these are the chosen few {in no particular order}. Some of them have inspired my own artwork, others represent major milestones for The Jealous Curator, and the rest just make me really, really jealous.  Here’s to the year ahead… may it be filled with cheek-flushing inspiration & soul-crushing jealousy for all! Cheers and Happy 2010!


Martha Rich (Sketchbook)


Trey Speegle


Alyson Fox


The Hot One Inch Action Show 2009


Margaret Kilgallen


Dave Barnes


Mikael Kennedy


Anthony Zinonos


Julien Pacaud


Diane Arbus


Tina Berning


Yellena James


Sarah Applebaum


Vivian Maier


Wendy Walgate


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