It was (the 80's) a way to feel in charge of your own ideas and you own life; it was all about how to react to make sure things changed. Lots of things went off in the streets; it was a way to be free and open: you could clog an intersection and make the city stop. To some degree you felt like you could change the world.
I love graffiti because it enables kids from every social extraction to do something that brings them closer to art, when they normally wouldn't be stimulated to be visually creative. Graffiti helps to develop an awareness of immediate expressive and uncontrolled freedom.
I want kids to have this possibility. It's an important introduction to form and writing, story telling and color.
The presence of this male figure is kind of like this everyman, and it's very specific to San Francisco, where there's a huge homeless population that everyone wants to be free of, a bit like graffiti. The subject is to do with graffiti and the homeless… kind of like an outcast, things that the city is trying to get rid of, or pretending doesn't exist. With my work, I'm trying to reveal this.
Barry McGee's name became known throughout the art world after his exhibitions at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1998 and the 2001 Venice Biennale. The rumor of the graffiti artist named TWIST with great drawing skills spread at once, from graffiti artists in U.S. to the curators around the world. But we cannot simply pronounce him as the “rebirth of Keith Herring”
Barry's works are complex holding two identities confronting each other; Asian DNA from his mother of Chinese decent and being born and raised in San Francisco or modernity by always importing new aspects and nostalgia in the adoration for the 80's.
We are overridden by tension that we might fall off the edge if we are not cautious. Next, we switch off our regulations or morals and walk through the works. The tension turns to an emotional excitement and we find our selves in a garden of freedom.
(“TWIST” is Barry McGee's tag name for his graffiti.)
Profile of Barry McGee
Born in 1966, USA.
Graduated San Francisco Art Institute in 1991. Wall painting projects throughout the city for San Francisco Art Fund and other commissioned works between 1992 to 1997.
Created a huge wall painting for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1998 which became the museum's permanent collection. Held his first solo exhibition at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis the same year and brought impact on the American art scene. Exhibited the largest installation work for the 2001 Venice Biennale.
On the other hand, activities as graffiti artist with tag name TWIST maintains his mind on the streets and the community, as the theme of works continue to come from the life of those on the streets.
第2会場 外 >>
June 2 (Sat), 2007 18:00 to 20:00
Speaker: BARRY MCGEE
Admission Fee: 1,500 yen. (prior booking necessary. WATARI-UM member are invited.)
June 3 (Sun), 2007 20:00 to 23:00
Vocal: PEGGY HONEYWELL
BGM: TEI TOWA & Friends
Admission Fee: 3,800 yen. (prior booking necessary. 20% off for WATARI-UM members)
Application for BARRY MCGEE related events
○Early booking is recommended as number of seats are limited.
○Contact: WATARI-UM, The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art
Tel: 813-3402-3001 Fax: 813-3405-7714 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bank transfer account: Mitsui Sumitomo Bank, Aoyama branch, ordinary savings account 1033281, account holder's name: Watari Museum of Contemporary Art
Date/time and contents may change accordingly by the lecturer.