It Doesn’t Take Anyone Else For You To Make Something Cool
Article By: Amelia “Killer” Rose
Originally Published In The February 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Growing up an only child combined with moving from place to place means small hands must be kept busy. For Chris Galley, of Devil Chicken Design, the obvious thing for him to turn to was creating art. With a pencil and some paper, anything was possible. It also served as a way for him to make friends at new schools. If kids see you drawing something cool, they generally gather around to check it out. Eventually, it led to students asking for art for school projects, and in high school, kids were asking for custom stick-n-poke tattoos. Even from his youngest years, people have sought outand supported his work, which increased his confidence, sense of self-belonging, and motivated him to keep pushing forward. As his art progressed, Chris made a conscious decision to switch up his approach. He wanted to take everything he was good at or wanted to learn and put it all into the art he was creating. In one of his pieces, you can find multiple mediums including markers, collage, spray paint, acrylic and wheat paste. In my opinion, the best part of his hodge-podge style is that he didn’t care what anyone thought. If he liked it, it was a good piece, and I feel that more artists should have that mentality when creating their work. Another thing he does differently than most artists is that he tries to make his graphics look like digital printouts when in reality they’re hand drawn. He uses things like old boards and makes them look years older, covered in layers of posters and flyers. For Chris, the various materials and medium give the work structure as well as drive the story.
His background in the arts is what Chris feels sets him apart from other artists in our industry. With a traditional foundation in media and an art degree, his first steps in the industry were nthrough art galleries and group shows as opposed to most other artists who are self-taught or came up through apprenticeships. The best part is that at the end of the day, they always fit together with their work, the only difference being perspectives and styles. Most of the people he’s closest with met him through motorcycle shows and each city he has visited greeted him with amazing and supportive people. “It’s pretty easy to hit it off when you get around people you have so much in common with. This industry is full of talented and creative people who are always willing to share. It’s pretty incredible.”- Chris Galley As to how he became a part of the moto-art industry, it was the people that drew him in. Not to mention his business, Devil Chicken Designs first started out in the industry six years ago at a local gallery in Buffalo, NY. Since then, he has pretty much been running things from the road which has allowed him to not only travel cross country but overseas. His reasoning for going mobile is that he didn’t want to wait for an audience to happen upon him, he was going to find them first, and the motorcycle industry seemed like a logical connection between his art and the audience he was looking for.
Not sure if he has one set “inspiration” for the kind of art he creates, Chris claims to be of the Chuck Close mindset. Chuck once said “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” He leans more towards being a motivation kind of guy with people like his wife, Jo, for example, that never let anything get in their way, as his driving force. He describes her as being Devil Chicken’s biggest supporter, being the business manager, promo team and hype man all in one.
To start Devil Chicken, Chris and his wife Jo, sold their “old house in the boonies” to move into the city at that time. Jo was opening a new business, so he gave himself a timeline to get work into some galleries around the town. His plan was within the first year to have a solo show in a gallery, and his first solo shop was on the walls of a gallery after only four months. Since then it’s been full steam ahead! Chris’ plans for the future are just to keep traveling and producing more art, but his dream is to one day have his art in a museum, specifically, the Harley- Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Currently, he lives with his wife and their 3 Boston Terriers in upstate New York. He and Jo run the Voodoo & Burned Rubber Art and Motorcycle Show. For them, it’s a great way to showcase the wonderful artists they’ve met on the road and bring together the local artists and builders in their hometown. The 2018 show is on July 7th so mark your calendars!
Right now, things seem like they are really connecting and clicking for Chris who has always looked at his art career like a punk rock band. He loads up some work into his truck and drives to a city where no one knows him to make an impression. Recently, he was nominated and won the Cycle Source Artist of The Year award, which for him is an amazing recognition for all the hard work and time he has put in. To him, it means more people are starting to recognize the beautiful work he’s been putting into the world, and as a personal fan of his, he deserves every vote he received. If you know of any cool upcoming shows or want to check out more of Chris’ incredible artwork, make sure you hit up Instagram @devilchickendesign or his website www.devilchickendesign.com and support the art you love to see. Thanks for reading. Till next time, Amelia “Killer” Rose