When Robin (one half of The Golden Rays) was lent a video of the Basquiat biopic by his high school art teacher, he became instantly obsessed by graffiti writers. This was the late 90s and it didn't take long before he came across the work of writer Twist, otherwise known as Barry McGee. The artist combines disparate elements into an idiosyncratic and strangely cohesive style; glum characters facing away from the viewer, a crisp dripping west coast handstyle, grainy snapshots of friends, objects collected in the streets and sharply coloured geometric patterns. Knowing Barry McGee was also a surfer strengthened the connection. In comparison with the clean and sunny style of Southern California, living and working in San Francisco adds a fogginess to McGee's work and his obsession with folk art and the outsider makes his art all the more relatable outside of the Golden State.
When we started The Golden Rays it was a no brainer that we get our hands on some of Barry McGee's books.