Robert Ballagh is an accomplished artist, responsible for the design of numerous theatre sets including I’ll Go On, Gate Theatre (1985), Samuel Beckett’s Endgame (1991) and Oscar Wilde’s Salomé (1998). He also designed over 70 postage stamps and the Irish bank note before Ireland changed over to the euro. His work is heavily influenced by pop art and his style often incorporates hyperrealism.
Born in Dublin 1943, he took up numerous endeavours before deciding to pursue art as an occupation including, studying architecture at Bolton Street College of Technology, practicing as a musician, an engineer and a postman. After being introduced to and subsequently working alongside artist Michael Farrell, his career in art began.
He is well known for his renditions of Irish literary, historical and establishment figures, and his political affiliations which can often influence his work. He is the president of the Ireland Institute for Historical and Cultural Studies and a member of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, describing himself as an activist.
He has had major exhibitions in numerous European galleries such as Lund, Warsaw, Sofia and Dublin, and was featured at the RHA Gallagher Gallery. Other notable achievements include Ballagh’s work in helping to create the opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics and the Ryder cup when held in Ireland.