Barry McGee1

After exploding from the streets of San Francisco as the prolific graffiti artist TWIST, Barry McGee has become one of the leading artistic figures in California youth subculture. He draws his force and inspiration from the contrast and tension that exists between the city center and t he suburbs, between wealthy districts and the slums. His visual language is at once eclectic, ephemeral, radical and, above all, heavily influenced by the daily realities of the city. McGee’s complex installations convey a sense of vitality and chaos, juxtaposed with a precarious nature and sense of alienation. Large-scale wall murals, clusters of small-framed drawings and snapshots, various tools and other street detritus make their way into his installations in an almost symphonic fashion. Intricate paintings are executed then rolled over with latex paint, echoing the ‘buffs’ that cover graffiti in urban areas. Clusters of glass bottles hang in a corner with painted portraits of derelicts and other characterizations of street “personalities.” In recent years, McGee has exhibited his works internationally to great acclaim. Recent exhibitions include Museum of Modern Art in New York, UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Foundation Cartier in Paris, and the Fondazione Prada in Milan.