T.H.R. by Barry McGee

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204 pages.
Damiani 2010. ISBN 978-88-6208-096-5

Emblazoned with the acronyms T.H.R. & D.F.W., this epic tome is a collection of images pulled from the diverse aspects of Barry McGee's art practise. Featuring loads of photos from his personal collections, alongside paintings, collages and installation shots, it's a whirlwind tour through the myriad worlds McGee inhabits. Graffiti writers getting themselves into sticky situations, surfing for the pure joy of it, the streets of San Francisco and a smattering of museum shows sit amongst his trademark characters and patterns. The scale and intensity of the images herein make it a must-have book for anyone with more than a passing interest in Barry McGee.

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.

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