Tuesday, May 17, 2011
5 QUESTIONS with a Jersey City Weirdo elite.
5 questions with a JC weirdo.
Jersey celebrates it’s strangeness and I do too. I like to think JC is a city full of black sheep. Those that were outcast, ostricized or simply sought refuge somewhere far away from the mundane or monotonous grind of the burbs or the big city.
What qualifies someone as a weirdo for me? I know some of you can't shake the negative colloquial connotation usually applied with the term, but seeing as New Jersey was the father of the "Weird New Jersey" mag and all the "weird" states that followed thereafter I think we can take the power back and use it with honor. For me weird simply means someone who thinx for themselves and speaks and lives without a filter. This usually resonates all the way through and through making their appearance a telltale sign of whats goin on in that head of theirs. I find these folks compelling and they happen to be the foundation of our strange and beautiful culture, and not just here in Jersey City. Strange & beautiful people make any city worth visiting.
For my first interview I chose Donald Gallagher he was 2nd or 3rd on my JC Weird List but really he's a one man army of character. Depending on the day, he could be sporting wings, fairy dust a yellow, pink or blue beard, tights or platform boots..hell maybe all of the above. He's a master painter of interiors who seems to be at all the outdoor festivals in the tri state area as well as the events and parties you and I don't get invited to. To me he's one of our great weirdos in JC but I'm sure to many others he's an influential personality that's been involved in more arts related events then you've been to dive bars. He's like a wizard and a woodland nymph sprinkling color and magic wherever he goes.
Here we take a peak inside of mind of the most colorful fellas in our lil haven of blacksheep.
JF- Whats your day job and whats your passion?
DG-I am a decorative painter, and also quite good a plastering in the old fashioned way with lime plaster. I of course do a lot of just regular brush and roller painting but I love it when a client wants to do some historical of decorative effect such as wood graining or Faux Marbre. or some trompl'oil effect. I also love to work on walls with milk paint and clay and bees wax finishes. I am passionate about getting the work just right and beautiful, A good example in a public space is the interior of Grace Church Van Vorst on 2nd and Erie st. JC it is a recreation of the church as it looked when dedicated in 1853, with some modification.
I am also thrilled to perform in The Life after Shopping Gospel Choir, with Rev. Billy, I have always been serious about singing, so it is wonderful being in a performance group who takes the singing serious as well as our politics which hope to make a difference in how we treat the Earth and each other.
JF- Do you have any quirks or obsessive compulsive things that have to be done a certain way?
DG- There are several ways of doing some plastering or painting projects but in most cases I like to do them in a defined step by step manner, which can make me not the easiest person to work with or for, as I need the other to follow my method. I'm willing to listen to other ways, but do trust what I know works.
JF- What makes you angriest, happiest?
DG- I am angriest at the deep split between the 1% who have most of the wealth not only because I think it unfair but more because they way they are ruining the middle class here and exploiting the workers all over the world. Also how the corporations are gaining so much power in the public space and the individual is being pushed to the side. We are losing freedom a little bit at a time. Also there is very little attention being paid to the huge costs to the Earth of the corporate behavior of just take take with no thought of the consequence. It is catching up to us and we our children and grand children are going to pay dearly, We must CHANGE.
I am happy when singing with friend, talking and telling stories. Going to art and gallery openings, poetry readings.Running with the Radical Faeries here in JC or NYC or somewhere out in the wood.
JF- What would people be surprised to learn about you if they got to know you?
DG- Most likely some of the exploits from my past. Events I was at or people I knew or know. Parties I host privately
every month may be shocking to some.
JF- Tell us a quick lil story or anecdote from your life/childhood that may have helped shape your personality, personal philosophy or direction.
DG- I grew up in and around the Poconos in Pa. so spent a lot of time in the forest both alone and with friends. The forest and the birds and animals and trees and flowers and fish and sky are deeply part of me. Although I knew from an early age after visiting NYC that I was going to live here, my mind and heart will always have their roots in the forest.
JF- Your appearance certainly portrays such, I wouldn't be surprised bumping into you at a party in any big city or standing among the trees deep in the California redwoods. Thanx for playing along and keeping my appetite for the strange and mysterious sated.