Artist of the moment……Barry McGee also known as Twist

Barry McGee is a wonderful street painter who uses the tag “Twist” was born in 1968 in the city of  San Francisco, California. For his collegiate studies McGee earned a bachelors of fine arts in painting and printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute.

This clip is from a show given for a mid career retrospective featuring Barry McGee.

Our friends from the public broadcasting system and their wonderful program Art21 made this clip in which “Twist” talks about tagging, its history in general and also with the artist. A great feature in this clip is around 3 minutes in where Twist recreates the street/ graffiti artists as they make their “crime.” I hadn’t given it enough thought, but just the positions these artists get in to make their pictures is amazing!

In this last clip we view a great montage of works by the artist. We get a chance to see how great McGee is at portraying emotions.

Has worked with his cartoon characters on items such as skateboards.

Price range information: McGee works in a variety of mediums including acrylics which range $4,000 to $65,000. The artist has also worked in oils which range $10,000 to $60,000. Mixed media works range $5,000 to $60,000. This would be his art done on liquor bottles and other found materials. Many times instead of painting with acrylics Twist will use enamel paints.

Has completed several murals and other large sized public commissions.

A main theme for McGee is a pessimistic view of the world that doesn’t really care about the individual, but rather just looks to exploit their addictions view a mass corporate advertising campaign.

Was included in the Venice Biennale in 2001. This brought the artist much fame and media attention. As a result many of his public works found on the streets of  the Bay area have been stolen or scavenged!  Even when not in galleries your art can be stolen!

Sadly the artist has lived through a traumatic event. He was married to an artist named Margaret Kilgallen. She was pregnant and was found to have breast cancer. She kept the baby and didn’t undergo chemotherapy during the pregnancy. Just 3 weeks after having the baby named Asha, Kilgallen and the wife of the artist passed away in 2001. The couple did some collaborations and both artists were vital parts of the San Francisco Street art movement. Below some examples of works by Margaret Kilgallen

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Leave a Comment »

  1. Been love with Barry McGee’s work for a while now. Glad to see I’m not the only one! 🙂


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