“Beginnings As A Graffiti Street Artist”….Barry McGee

The beauty of art is that it can be anything, depict different things for different people, and be seen from all types of viewpoints and angles.  That in itself is what makes art so compelling and each artist original. Barry McGee, a San Francisco born artist, proves just that with his work, his origins and his viewpoint on his art and art in general.  

In high school Barry was a graffiti street artist, who loved the freedom of tagging and the thrill he got from beating the system with his street art.  Slowly but surely Barry began to make a name for himself with his tagging and artistic graffiti art abilities.  Although he does not see himself as a graffiti street artist any longer he feels that graffiti belongs to an art world of its own.  His work was first noticed for the hobo’s, misfits, bold patterns and intricate detail.  He believes that art can infuriate people and create chaos which is what art is supposed to be about right?  Raising emotion within the observer with the strokes, colors, and detail of art in any form, paintings, sculptures, drawings etc.  

Becoming more and more serious about his artistic passion he attended and graduated from San Francisco Art Institute.  Soon after graduating his work began to appear in New York Galleries such as, Drawing Center & Deitrich Projects.  Then in 2013 he joined Chelseas Chiem & Road. Set to have his very first solo show of drawings, paintings, and sculptures he has come a long way from his street art beginnings.  However, Barry, still holds true to his roots when asked to compare street art with gallery shows.  He still stands by the fact that street art allows you to break the rules and have a certain kind of freedom with art.  Where as gallery shows tend to have a structure and rules along with them.  When asked what he prefers as an artist he simply said both. Isn’t that perhaps one of the truest statements that could be made.  I mean think about it.  For most of us some days you are ready for the rules and the structure they provide and some days you need a little freedom and to rebel.  What is definitely for certain is that Barry McGee is a talented and unique artist with much to offer the art world, especially here in New York.  His visions and viewpoints that he depicts through his work as well as exudes as a person is beautiful in itself.  Quoted as saying “ Compelling art to me is a name carved into a tree. Sometimes  a rock soaring through a plate of glass can be the most beautiful, compelling work of art I have ever seen”.  There is true talent to be found in someone like Barry McGee.  An individual, and artist that can find the beauty in all objects and proves that in the end, it’s all about perspective.

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