If you’ve grown up painting graffiti or have an interest in art then you’re bound to have heard the name Barry Mcgee, he gained notoriety with his graffiti & amazing handstyles under the name “Twist” & has been doing exceptionally well in the artworld with his brilliant paintings & illustrations.
I’m a massive fan of his work so I was really delighted to see that
Dirty Mag had done an interview with him, have a look at said interview & a selection of my favourite work from the ridiculously talented man below.
SAMUEL BORKSON: HOW ARE YOU TODAY?
BARRY MCGEE: Things have been well, Sam. It’s Indian summer in San Francisco, so spirits are high. Anything can happen.
SB: BARRY, YOU ARE AN ICON TO MANY — IF YOU COULD TEACH THE WORLD SOMETHING WHAT WOULD IT BE?
BMG: Oh dear, I’m not so good at teaching people. Let me think?
SB: COME ON, TELL US!
BMG: I think a strong work ethic is a good thing to develop.
SB: YOU’RE SUCH A SWEET PERSON. WERE YOU ALWAYS?
BMG: I’m not a sweet person. I’m OCD, ADD, but DFW and say thank you obsessively.
SB: IS RELIGION IMPORTANT TO YOU? WHAT ARE WE MISSING?
BMG: I have not found a religion that has not been connected to war and corruption, so no it is not important to me right now.
SB: WHAT DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CONTEMPORARY ART?
BMG: I love contemporary art, Sam! It’s one of the best things in the world, after nature. It seems to be the only occupation where I feel connected to other people through visuals. I get very inspired and feel a rush of adrenalin. Does this ever happen to you Sam?
SB: IF YOU HAD ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD TO MAKE WHATEVER PROJECT YOU WANTED, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
BMG: I’m more interested in less than more. Our society has become obsessed with having more, having it all. To what end? Excess, while fascinating to watch, is not the answer to me. Most over budgeted art projects I have seen are terrible.
SB: DO YOU FEEL “STREET ART” IS AN IMPORTANT MOVEMENT? DO YOU FEEL IT IS A MOVEMENT OR WOULD YOU RATHER EACH STREET ARTISTS BE LOOKED AT FOR THEIR INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTION? FOR WHAT EACH IS SAYING?
BMG: I’m not really into movements when they get labeled and packaged into easily digestible little sound bites for the masses to understand and then consume… it makes me sick to my stomach, Sam. I like things on the street that do not appear to be art. A fire extinguisher filled with paint and released upon the side of a building is one of the most beautiful things in the world, and thank God, has nothing to do with art.
SB: WHY IS ART IMPORTANT TO THE WORLD?
BMG: Probably the tax loopholes for the wealthy to speculate and invest in. For artists, such as you and me, the kinship of community and expression without compromise.
SB: IF YOU COULD CAST A MAGIC SPELL AND FIX SOMETHING IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
BMG: You are already doing that, Sam.
SB: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITY?
BMG: That would probably be surfing. I love it too much
SB: WHAT WAS IT LIKE GROWING UP?
BMG: I’m still growing. I am my long term project, Sam.
SB: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOODS? AND DO YOU COOK ?
BMG: I like all vegetables grown organically and local. I’m into kale and quinoa… it doesn’t require any cooking just chopping!
SB: WHY IS SURFING IMPORTANT TO YOU?
BMG: I can’t sit still, Sam. It’s great exercise and keeps middle age flabbery at bay… for now!
SB: HOW DO YOU FIGHT THE BAD THOUGHTS IN YOUR HEAD? DO YOU HAVE ANY? DO YOU DO ANYTHING BAD?
BMG: I tackle them until they submit and behave. I usually just go surfing.
SB: WHAT UPSETS YOU?
BMG: Not being near the ocean, street art, street art books.
SB: DO YOU THINK THE WORLD CAN BETTER ITSELF? ARE THINGS GETTING BETTER OR WORSE?
BMG: Yes. Stop the production of yet another book on street.
SB: WHAT DO YOU LOVE?
BMG: This life.
SB: WHAT’S THE SECRET TO LIFE?
BMG: Staying fit. Mind, body, spirit.
SB: WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU IN LIFE?
BMG: The afterlife.