As installed for the premiere of DeLuxe at The Whitney Museum of American Art, 2005 Portfolio of sixtywith photogravure, etching, aquatint and drypoint with lithography, screenprint, embossing, tattoo machine engraving, laser cutting and chine colle; and additions of plasticine, cut-and-pasted paper, enamel, gouache, varnish, pencil, oil, polymer, watercolor, pomade, velvet, glitter, crystals, foil paper, gold leaf, toy eyeballs, and toy ice cubes.
Ellen Gallagher was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1965, and lives and works in New York and Rotterdam, Holland. She attended Oberlin College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Repetition and revision are central to Gallagher’s treatment of advertisements that she appropriates from popular magazines like Ebony, Our World, and Sepia and uses in works like eXelento (2004) and DeLuxe (2004–05). Initially, Gallagher was drawn to the wig advertisements because of their grid-like structure. Later, she realized that it was the accompanying language that attracted her, and she began to bring these “narratives” into her paintings—making them function through the characters of the advertisements, as a kind of chart of lost worlds.