On Thursday 17 September 2009, Galleria Alessandra Bonomo, Rome, inaugurated its show on Barry McGee, in collaboration with Deitch Projects.
Fusing together found and invented imagery, tags and assorted objects Barry McGee draws on a range of influences including the Mexican muralists, tramp art, the graffiti artists of the 70’s and 80’s and the San Francisco Beat poets to create a unique visual language.
The work has the strong immediately recognizable visual signature of the best graffiti art, but is also enormously poetic and evocative. It communicates the artist’s strong empathy with the people who have been left behind by contemporary society.
Also known by his street name, twist, Barry McGee has a large following in the street art community. He has been working on the streets of San Francisco, his native city, since the mid 1980’s where his images continue to endure on walls, mailboxes and other surfaces despite the continuous campaign of public authorities to paint them out.
McGee has long resisted showing his works in museums and commercial galleries but he has recently become more active on the conventional art world context. His work was featured in the 55th Carnegie International in 2008, at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in England in 2008, at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and at Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum in Waltham, Massachusetts in 2004.