John Gallagher was born in Shelton, CT to a Mexican mother and American father and was reared in two cultures. After spending his childhood visiting family in Mexico Gallagher earned a BA in Anthropology. Gallagher is interested in showing the complex milieu that the ever increasing confluence of cultures create in a way that provokes thought and causes the viewer to question the reasons for believing that others are unequal. He wishes to make humanitarian efforts with his art that will hopefully change the perceptions of those who live elsewhere and who have different histories.
His first exhibit entitled Angel’s Night (November 2004), held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, was named in honor of the community watch program that volunteers to patrol the neighborhoods of Detroit on Mischief Night to prevent vandalism. The exhibit portrayed various aspects of the people that inhabit the city of Detroit: their struggles, celebrations, protests, and victories “Angel’s Night”, shot over the course of nine months in 2004, in south west Detroit’s Mexicantown neighborhood illustrates the human condition of the diverse range of its residents.
Eventually this concern for activism via photography led Gallagher to live abroad in Mexico, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic where he documented cultural traditions under threat of extinction in a rapidly changing, and globalizing world.
In 2005 Gallagher moved to the Dominican Republic and produced photo essays on Dominican Afro-Caribbean religious practices, a marginalized inner-city neighborhood called Cristo Rey and the lives of the homeless residents of the soon to be demolished capital city boardwalk area known as El Malecon. After working closely for nearly a year in one of the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods, Cristo Rey, he presented his second individual exhibit entitled ¨Cristo Rey: Entre Lucha y Esperanza¨ (Cristo Rey: Between Struggle and Hope). The show, which opened in 2006, presented the everyday life aspects of this neighborhood, its peoples and their religious practices.
His photo essay on Santo Domingo’s Malecón titled “El Malecón: A Wall of Shame” showed the humanity of the homeless during times of adversity. Work from the Dominican Republic has been exhibited in New York City, Philadelphia, New Hampshire, Michigan, Missouri, California and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Gallagher’s work on the US Mexico border titled “Borders” is a visual narration of life on both sides of the border from the point of view of a Mexican-American. The work explores quotidian life in the US and Mexico, the Border Wall and the political maelstrom that has enveloped the issue of immigration and fueled hate crimes against Latinos.
Currently, Gallagher is unveiling three years of photographs from the Black Lives Matter movement showing the renewed urgency of social justice activism under an oppressive presidential administration. The show “Black Lives Matter” will debut in the Starfire Yoga Studio.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2016 El Malecón: A Wall of Shame. University of California, Santa Barbara, CA.
2015 El Malecón: A Wall of Shame. Taller Publico Slivano Lora, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
2008 El Malecón: A Wall of Shame. Russo Gallery, Humanities Center at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.
2007 El Malecón: A Wall of Shame. Rio II Gallery, New York, NY.
2007 Cristo Rey: A Dominican Neighborhood in Photographs. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
2006 Cristo Rey: A Dominican Neighborhood in Photographs. Angel Hall Gallery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
2006 Cristo Rey: Between Struggle and Hope. El Rincón de la Zona Gallery, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
2006 Cristo Rey: Between Struggle and Hope. La Parroquia de Cristo Rey, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Selected Group Exhibitions
2020 Online Exhibition 26th Juried Show, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA.
2019 Open Photo Exhibit, Cambridge Art Association Juried by Karen Haas, University Place Gallery, Cambridge, MA.
2011 36th Juried Exhibition, Lyndon House Arts Center, Athens, GA.
2009 Current Exposures, Gallery 125, Trenton, NJ.
2007 Prohibido Pensar/Thinking Prohibited, Collaborative exhibit with Dominican painter Eduard Severino, International Institute Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI.
2007 Prohibido Pensar/Thinking Prohibited, Collaborative exhibit with Dominican painter Eduard Severino, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.
2006 La Pobreza No Cae Del Cielo/Poverty Does Not Fall From The Sky, Museo de las Casas Reales, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Visit John’s website