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Barry McGee


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A hardcover artist’s book in the form of a visual collage, incorporating photographs, drawings, paintings and documentation of past and present installations. Barry McGee’s art buzzes with an infectious street vitality that celebrates the rich pageant of city living, while lambasting its “ills, overstimulations, frustrations, addictions.” His early years as a graffiti artist, tagging on the streets of San Francisco under such monikers as Ray Fong, Twist and Twisto, still nourish his need to inscribe the blank face of modern life with the personal and the handmade.

McGee synthesizes a wide range of resources, including the Mexican muralists, anonymous street art and San Francisco Beat poetry, all of which are notably characterized by a sense of public address that McGee never neglects to convey in his own work. His paintings, drawings and installations spill over with graphic energy and political anger, and direct exhortations to his audience to respond to the life around them.

Barry McGee was born in San Francisco in 1968 and studied at the San Francisco Art Institute. He continues to live and work in that city. He has had solo exhibitions at Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum in Waltham, Massachusetts, Deitch Projects in New York and the Prada Foundation in Milan amongst others.


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