Barry McGee (Hi-Fructose Vol. 16 and 25) brings the chaos and grit of the street into the energy of his art. He is well known for his multi-media work that borrows from 1940s and 50s advertisements, cartoons, tags and lettering from his graffiti days. His style is so eclectic, in fact, that McGee has chosen to exhibit under his various monikers like Twist and Lydia Fong, as in his 2008 exhibition at Ratio 3 in San Francisco. For his latest exhibition at Ratio 3, “China Boo”, McGee remixes his most recognizable motifs.
V1 Gallery in Copenhagen is currently hosting a two men show featuring Barry McGee and Todd James. Ever since they created “Street Market” together with Steve Powers at New York City’s Deitch Projects in 2000, the two have exhibited together several times. Among others, they exhibited at the 2001 Venice Biennale, 2004 “Beautiful Losers” group exhibition, and the L.A. MOCA “Art in the Streets” in 2011. V1 Gallery has been supporting both artists through that entire time, and “FUD” is their second double-show with the gallery. Read more after the jump.
His first major Bay Area solo exhibition since the 1990s, Barry McGee’s mid-career retrospective opened last night at the University of California’s Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. The spiraling structure of the BAM allowed for McGee to reconstruct many of his acclaimed past installations — such as his site-specifc mural at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which was stolen after its completion, among many others — and leave room for plenty of new surprises. As much an homage to graffiti and street culture as it is a look at McGee’s career so far, the exhibit features many installations with automated dummies caught in the act of doing graffiti, a tribute to McGee’s late wife Margaret Kilgallen and assemblages created by friends and community members.
For Barry McGee’s (Hi-Fructose Vol. 16) latest solo show at Prism Gallery in Los Angeles, the artist created a vibrant, colorful environment that resembles a world one might imagine when looking closely at the television static as a child. Tiny pellets of bright colors bounce around the gallery space in an ordered chaos; the combinations of geometric shapes force the eye to dart around the room from photos to sculptures to dense arrays of paintings. Drawing from the text-based arts of sign-making and graffiti, McGee manipulates letters until they become forms almost illegible. The bold colors in the sea of imagery appear to be inherited from 1940s and ’50s advertisements and spray paint tags from the street alike. The canvas is deconstructed in McGee’s signature style, where the arrangement of the pieces is equally important as the content within them. Check out some photos of McGee’s new work, courtesy of Prism.
It’s official, ladies and gentlemen — spring has officially sprung in New York City, and people came out in droves to catch a glimpse of the legendary Ron English in action as he worked on his latest project. The world famous Bowery wall, located in the heart of New York City’s Lower East Side on the corner of Houston and Bowery, has featured massive works of art by Retna, Faile, Barry McGee, and countless other street and graffiti artists.
Over the weekend at Joshua Liner Gallery in Chelsea, NYC, California-based artist Thomas Campbell opened his solo show “Ampersand,” bringing with him a calm from the Pacific that seemed disorientingly refreshing in a city that breeds anxiety. Campbell, who is as much a painter as he is a filmmaker, skateboarder, surfer, record-label founder and photographer, continues to defy the mainstream pressures of specialization and containment, a shared temperament for many of his fellow artists that emerged in the 1990s — the Beautiful Losers such as Barry McGee, Cheryl Dunn and Harmony Korine.