“A Ghost in the Family”

SAIC news
Barry McGee and Clare Rojas with Asha, his daughter by his late first wife, the artist Margaret Kilgallen. Photograph by Peter Bohler

The New Yorker published a story about the creative turned romantic relationship between artist Barry McGee and SAIC alum Clare Rojas (MFA 2002) and the persistent presence of McGee’s late wife, the artist Margaret Kilgallen. Kilgallen passed away from cancer shortly after giving birth to a daughter named Asha, Sanskrit for “hope.” A friendship between McGee and Rojas eventually evolved into a marriage in 2005, with Rojas legally adopting Asha in 2008. The story illuminates the challenges Rojas faced in navigating her own painting practice in relation to that of McGee's and Kilgallen’s.