Art That Disappears


Ellis Gallagher is an artist who traces shadows of things. This is a good example of indexing because he couldn’t make the traced drawings without the thing making the shadow and the sun or light behind it. His story is sad and happy. He used to spray paint in the subway, but he quit after he was doing this one day with his friend. His friend got hit by a train and died. After that, he started to trace shadows on the sidewalks with chalk.

Some art is permanent.  Some art is not permanent. Some art is illegal. Some art is legal. Why do artists choose any of these ways of making? Why do you think Ellis Gallagher switched to drawing with chalk after his friend died?


Take some chalk with you today and when you see a shadow you’d like to trace, do. You might notice how fast the earth moves when you are racing against the sun to get your drawing done.

Sometimes tracing with chalk gives you ideas for other drawings.



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