Margaret Kilgallen embodied handcrafted making in her work. She also quietly chanelled and appropriated the lexicon and symbology of vintage advertising. Reflecting on an exhibition of her work up now at Ratio 3 gallery in San Francisco there are undeniable corollaries between her intepretations of capitalism's presence in the everyday and artists who use tactics similar to hers but are engaged with more advanced technologies. The author Simon Reynolds added extra framing for Kilgallen's work in a recent interview:
The posher you are the more you have invested in a narrative of things being much better in the old days when people knew their place.
I think the whole antiquing thing, this vintage thing, has something to do with this weird middle class thing of wanting to distance yourself from consumerism while still consuming – because it's enjoyable and you like to have things – and I came across this really cool quote by this artist called Margaret Kilgallen. She uses a lot of commercial imagery and old commercials and signage and stuff from another era… things she got from advertisements in old magazines.
She said something like: "This stuff becomes interesting to me when it's no longer selling anything to me."
- Simon Reynolds, from an interview about his new book Retromania on The Quietus
images via Ratio 3