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Barry McGee

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One More Thing, 2005 Mixed Media Variable © Courtesy of Artist, Deitch Projects and Tom Powell Imaging
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RVCA x Cinelli x Barry McGee bicycle Custom Cinelli Track Bike © courtesy of the Artist and RVCA
Larceny
Larceny
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Graffiti Tag Spray Paint
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Surf Board & Acrylic
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Untitled , 2011 Mixed Media, 213 Elements 308×758.5 Cm 121 1/4×298 5/8 Ins © Courtesy of the Artist and Modern Art
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© photo by Sophia Nahli
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© Courtesy of the Artist and PRISM
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Untitled, 2005 (detail) Acrylic on Glass Bottles, Wire Dimensions Variable © Lindemann Collection, Miami Beach. Photo: Mariano Costa Peuser
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Installation View of Barry McGee, on View at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) From August 24 Through December 9, 2012. © Photo: Sibila Savage.
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Installation View of Barry McGee, on View at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) From August 24 Through December 9, 2012. © Photo: Sibila Savage.
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Installation Sydney © Courtesy of the artist & MODERN ART MUSEUM OF FORT WORTH
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Untitled (detail), 1995 Acrylic House Paint and Enamel on Tin Galley Trays and Sheet Metal 8 X 64 Ft © Courtesy of the artist & Luggage Store, San Francisco
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Untitled, 2012, 2012 Acrylic on Wood © Courtesy of the Artist and Ratio 3
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Untitled, 2014 Paint on Panel; 88 Elements 105 ½ X 124 Inches © Courtesy of the Artist and Ratio 3
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© Courtesy of the Artist and Ratio 3
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Quick Facts
Birthplace
San Francisco
Birth year
1966
Lives in
San Francisco
Works in
San Francisco
Statement

Barry McGee is a painter and graffiti artist. He is also known by monikers such as Ray Fong, Twist and further variations of Twist, such as Twister, Twisty, Twisto and others.

McGee rose out of the Mission School art movement and graffiti boom in the San Francisco Bay Area during the early nineties. His work draws heavily from a pessimistic view of the urban experience. His paintings are very iconic, with central figures dominating abstracted backgrounds of drips, patterns and color fields. He has also painted portraits of street characters on their own empty bottles of liquor, painted flattened spray cans picked up at train yards and painted wrecked vehicles for art shows.

McGee was highly influential on the urban art scene that followed in his wake. He popularized use of paint drips in urban-influenced graphic design, as well as the gallery display technique of clustering paintings. These clustered compositions of pictures are based on similar installations he saw in Catholic churches whilst working in Brazil. He also was an early participant in the practice of painting directly on gallery walls, imitating the intrusive nature of graffiti.

The market value of his work rose considerably after 2001 as a result of his being included in the Venice Biennale and other major exhibitions. As a result, much of his San Francisco street art has been scavenged or stolen.

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