A graffiti artist and tagger by nature, Barry McGee has in the last few years taken a stealth, guerilla art form, one that is typically the subject of complaint, arrest, and general unappreciation, and transformed it into a well-received medium for display in museum and commercial gallery spaces. His drawings, paintings, and mixed-media installations take their inspiration from contemporary urban culture, incorporating elements such as empty liquor bottles and spray-paint cans, tagged signs, wrenches, and scrap wood or metal into overwhelming, space-transforming interior worlds. Though McGee views graffiti as a vital method of communication, one that keeps him in touch with a larger, more diverse audience than can be reached through the traditional spaces of galleries or museums, he makes fine use of traditional exhibition spaces, using them not only to communicate a subcultural point of view to gallerygoers but also to point out ways in which space can be reclaimed.
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