Friday, November 16, 2012

Barry McGee at Berkeley Art Museum --- Day 315

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 8 blocks and teach yoga class

Can't remember if I wrote about my trip to BAM for painter and graffiti artist Barry McGee a month or so ago.  I knew absolutely nothing about him before going and was really excited to see his works in the first room (See below).  They were to me soulful and gritty, and I looked forward to seeing his 'growth' as an artist in the rooms beyond.  There I saw his career "develop" from working with fellow taggers, through individual  international exposure at the Venice Biennial to 'create at will with unlimited budget' commissions (or so it looks to me). And, sadly, I felt the loss of its soul. To me his art has become shallow, theatrical and bloated.* I understand he is on a sort of hiatus, and possibly he is personally searching for a new and deeper direction.

Here are a few of the early works that appealed to me:

*See Day 313 of CIWT for a photo of some later art.

 PS - At some point - when I'm more informed and have possibly deepened my thinking on the matter - CIWT might write about graffiti art.  Right now I'm of the opinion that - unless it is done on some fence that is about to be torn down or something - it is defacement of public or private property, vandalism, etc..  This makes me feel strange about being entertained by graffiti shows and even so entertained by movies about artists like Banksy that I actually start rooting for the artist.  Once the front of my home was tagged and I was not At All entertained and had to pay quite a sum to have the tag removed.  Later...

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