Stories Behind the Image: Sears Tower

315 S Peoria St, Chicago, 2008

In 2008, while working for an electrical contractor in Chicago, I was working at a project in one of Chicago’s downtown high rises called Tailor Lofts. The building was located at 315 S Peoria St. between Jackson Blvd and Van Buren St. It was mostly vacant and run down, but also served as an artists studio for students of the University of Illinois in Chicago. During the demolition phase of the project. After exploring the building, I came across this scene that held so much impact for me that the next day I brought my camera to document the scene. This image depicts an empty shell of a room with the Sears tower (then Sears, now Willis) through the dirty and tattered window blinds and the experience ignited a decades long document of the various expansive downtown city views that I would be fortunate enough to access. 


Prints can be purchase through my page at Fine Art America here:

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/sears-thomas-gallagher.html




Negative Archives- Cats and Dogs, 2005


I’ve started pulling together and scanning negatives from my early days of shooting film. These 2 images just happened to be the first that showed up. It’s funny that I’m now realizing that these images are really good and should no longer stay locked away.

While at university, I never showed this work because I never really knew how to put it together in series. I couldn’t figure out a theme in my shooting because I was always- and still am too curious about photographing everything I see. 

I can use this space to broadcast out to  people that I’ve photographed over the years that haven’t ever seen these pictures. But, mainly, this is an exploration into my own past to recall my pretty interesting life, and the progression of my photographic practice. 


These two images are a self portrait of sorts. My self is represented in both of these. 


Dog, Surf Bar, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 2005

Cat, Good Taste Cafe, New York, 2005


Good news- I looked both of these places up and they both seem like they’re open, still!



 

I took a trip to visit my brother in New York around 2005. I was about 23 and I remember you couldn’t smoke in bars in New York at that point which was very strange to me. Chicago would end up following that lead a couple years later. 


  


DCASE AWARD

Earlier this week I discovered that I am the recipient of a DCASE grant from the city of Chicago. The funds will allow me to continue working on my book project for my series of images I have tentatively titled ‘40 Stories’. I can’t even begin to express how honored and excited I am to be able to create this book and I’m looking forward to getting this thing published!

That said, The funds I received from the grant are not nearly anywhere what I need to be able to complete this book successfully. I am going to rely of sales from prints through my website as well as accepting donations-
Please donate here! 
Ko-fi.com/40storiesbook

Any and all help is much appreciated! 

     As you may know, this image series is a document of my time over the last decade working in the construction industry. While managing projects at construction sites for interior build-outs in office buildings downtown, I was given access to sections of buildings slated for demolition, gutted interior offices, and half-built steel structures. I was always the only person at the pre-construction “walk-through” that was gleaming out the windows snapping photographs. 



     Through these unique perspectives, I feel I was able to capture images that reveal vulnerable, exposed portraits of Chicago’s downtown loop skyscrapers that seem to many of us just omnipresent, monolithic structures that are the workplaces of other people. From different heights one either encounters a view towering over other skyscrapers or a static view across an alley that only seems to have the sun shine or bounce on it for minutes out of the day. With the ever-present evolution of construction, architecture, and new monoliths placed every year we should not take these views for granted.

Using Format