Thursday, January 20, 2011
Margaret Kilgallen was a San Francisco Bay Area artist. She was considered a central figure in the Bay Area Mission School art movement as a painter and a graffiti artist under the tags "Meta" and "Matokie Slaughter." Kilgallen's paintings and murals reflected a variety of influences, including the dying art of hand-painted signs, elements of American folk art, mural painting, and a variety of formal painting strategies. At an early age, she was impressed by examples of works by Southwest and Mexican artists, and she employed these artists' use of warm colors in her own painting. Her works in gouache and acrylic on found paper (often discarded book endpapers) reflect an interest in typographic styles and symbology that can be traced to her work as a book conservator at the San Francisco Public Library in the 90's. She was the wife of artist and collaborator Barry McGee, a graffiti artist known under the moniker "Twist," among others. Kilgallen died in 2001, at age 33, from complications of breast cancer.