Perrotin Paris is pleased to host a new exhibition of works by American artist Barry McGee, his third solo exhibition with the gallery, and the first in Paris. Using a playful range of media, the artist shares his candid and insightful observation of modern society and a continued dedication to recognizing and supporting marginalized communities.
Barry McGee has mastered the art of turnaround, which surely stems from his legendary street alias, TWIST. In his studio, graffiti extends beyond the plastic form, reaching towards experience, material, memory, attitude, an underground community. Inside or outside, Barry McGee’s painting is thus a situationist drift within anesthetized cities. Privatized cities where structures proliferate and hostile architecture blocks errant lives: the vertigo of skaters, pigeons and all other potential sources of disorder.
A reluctant icon of the California scene, exhibiting legally or illegally in the streets, in alternative spaces or in institutions, Barry McGee always paints according to the exaggerated scale of the urban landscape. Photography, sculpture, drawing, performance, video, salvage, archives, fanzines: the artist manipulates different media without hierarchy, but always akin to a painter who explores, documents and manipulates urban memory.
What I love about graffiti is that no one knows who I am. It’s the feeling of pure freedom. I just have to change my name, and nobody cares about my tag. Graffiti is the only thing I can do without anyone appropriating it.