Barry McGee: On the Streets and in the Gallery

Throughout his career, artist Barry McGee (@barrymcgeeart) has explored as many mediums as he has monikers. Making his name in the graffiti subculture of California’s Bay Area under names including Twist, Ray Fong and Bernon Vernon, McGee’s works draw from a variety of influences including comic books, skateboarding and social activism.

As his influences have expanded so too has his notariety, and he seeks to continually challenge and explore the tension between being an outsider and a successful fine artist. These days, McGee’s work—seeming as natural in galleries as it does on the streets where it originated—is characterized by bright geometrical patterns, block lettering and stylized portraits.

One of his most iconic large public works adorns the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, New York, but smaller scale pieces can be spotted in major cities around the world and explored on Instagram through the #BarryMcGee hashtag.