The Zoey Blog: Maybe the Most Beautiful Loser Ever FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Maybe the Most Beautiful Loser Ever

If you've never heard of Margaret Kilgallen then you're sadly missing out on a beautiful artist and have missed the most beautifully sad story I've ever heard.

If you've caught the film, Beautiful Losers, then you've both seen her work and heard the story. She played an important role in the Bay Area Mission School art movement, and she collaborated with a lot of other contemporary artists who have had some pretty significant cultural influences...people like her husband Barry McGee, and Chris Johanson, Josh Lazcano, Alicia McCarthy, Clare Rojas, Thomas Campbell, Dan Flanagan, Symantha Gates, Nell Gould, filmmaker Bill Daniel, and musician Tommy Guerrero. She played a central role in Aaron Rose's film "Beautiful Losers" and if you were familiar with her art prior to the film, it's sad twist is painful to watch.

Beautiful Losers? In the early 1990's a loose-knit group of likeminded outsiders found common ground at a little NYC storefront gallery. Rooted in the DIY (do-it-yourself) subcultures of skateboarding, surf, punk, hip hop & graffiti, they made art that reflected the lifestyles they led. Developing their craft with almost no influence from the "establishment" art world, this group, and the subcultures they sprang from, have now become a movement that has been transforming pop culture...people like Shepard Fairey, Geoff McFetridge, and Margaret Kilgallen.

I couldn't begin to articulate Margaret's story in any way that might do it justice, so I'll leave you with the this link to the portion of the film that tells her tale (the story about Margaret begins at the 3:40 mark). It's just about the most beautiful and saddest thing I've ever seen. When I grow up I wanna be like Margaret Kilgallen, at least embody her spirit and her values, maybe feel strong enough to wear her kind of courage on my sleeve. She might be the most beautiful loser I've ever met.


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