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San Francisco artist Barry McGee is making quite a splash over on this side of the pond. McGee is currently showing in both London and in the Liverpool Biennial. McGee’s latest gallery graffiti claims back some of the street grit of his early works, which were found on buildings and in alleyways in San Francisco, when viewed in the more industrial settings of Liverpool and London’s east end. McGee (aka Twist) continues to rely on his familiar stockpile of amorphous shapes and baggy eyed down-and-outers painted on scraps of wood, empty bottles, directly on the walls, and in the case of Liverpool, on a van. His installations are both humorous and depressing, not unlike the venues themselves. I am left wondering if the irony of his work is lost on the hip crowd riding the wave of gentrification in London’s dirty-chic Hoxton area. If you can’t make it to the UK, you can check out the installations online. Barry McGee is at Modern Art Inc., London till October 13 and in the Liverpool Biennial till November 24, 2002.

—Cameron Cartiere, London

- Meredith Tromble [Monday, September 30th, 2002]

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