San Francisco artist Barry McGee uses improvisation as a guiding principle in all of his imagery. From boldly graphic, folk-art-like paintings to the flathead screwdriver throw-ups he did as TWIST as a key figure in the graffiti movement, McGee’s work celebrates the diverse and distinctive characters of his urban environs and beloved inner-city neighborhoods. His work critiques consumerist culture and the constant backdrop of commercialism in everyday interactions; rejecting the billboard and chain store, McGee instead finds inspiration in the seeming randomness of graffiti, the endless uploading of images on the internet, and the creative styling of misfits. McGee’s work balances anarchy and collaboration, creating environments in which the viewer is included in his singular vision.
BEYOND THE STREETS New York, 2019. Photo by Dan Bradica.