This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Barry McGee, whose mid-career survey is on view at the Berkeley Art Museum through December 9. The exhibition includes this installation in which McGee references the nom de plume he uses most these days. On The MAN Podcast, McGee and I discuss his aliases and why (and when) he uses them.
McGee emerged over 20 years ago as a precocious tagger named ‘Twist’ who left graffiti throughout the Bay Area. He took his visual language not so much from art history, but from other graffiti artists, comic books, traditional hobo markings and more, and used it all to take aim at the ownership of public space and the mostly corporate advertising that was increasingly filling that space in booming 1990s San Francisco.
Now after finishing with ‘Twist,’ McGee has emerged as an important figure in street-driven art. The BAM survey of McGee’s career was curated by director Lawrence Rinder and assistant curator Dena Beard. The show is open through December 9.
Special request:The MAN Podcast is conducting its 2012 listener survey. If you could spend 3-5 minutes filling it out, it will make the show better and it will help keep the show free. Thanks much, I really appreciate it.
Image: Installation view of “Barry McGee,” on view at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Photo: Sibila Savage.