Barry McGee

Quotes: Barry McGee

Quotes 1 till 13 of 13.

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    As soon as I start reading, drawing comes to me more easily. I find I work in my sketchbooks more. But if I'm working on a new show, my reading completely stops except when I'm on a plane. I take a stack of New Yorkers with me. I feel awful about those stacks of New Yorkers.
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    As soon as street art got popular, I was just like, 'I'm out of here.'
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    Drawings, paintings, and sculptures. That's the three pillars of art academia.
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    For me, graffiti means making marks on surfaces using just about anything, be it markers, spray, paint, chalk, lipstick, varnish, ink. Or it can be the result of scratches and incisions. The aim is to maintain the energy created by disturbance or excitement in the street.
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    I'm really into California art from the '60s. I like a lot of Bay Area artists, like Nathan Oliveira and Bruce Conner.
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    If I could get the respect of 14-year-olds, I'm happy. They're the toughest audience.
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    It's very intense to go back to the past and revive work that I've already experienced and moved forward from. It's like seeing an old girlfriend - awkward at times, nostalgic at times and downright maddening and embarrassing.
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    Most inspiration still comes from bicycling around San Francisco. This city never fails to inspire me. It is one of the most vibrant cities - especially visually - with a constant influx of young energy arriving daily. I love it.
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    Some of my favorite pieces are from thrift shops. When I find something I really love, I live, work and sleep in it.
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    Some people are enraged, and some people are applauding. If there were a mission statement for graffiti, that would be it.
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    Street artists need to get back to actually doing things on the streets instead of in the galleries where they all seem to be ending up. I hope this term 'street artist' falls from the face of the earth, in my honest opinion.
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    The parts of graffiti I like are really antagonizing still - it's not something that a museum would really embrace.
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    Work done illegally outdoors or without permission feels like pure freedom to me. I understand how it can upset many in our society, but in the bigger picture, it is ultimately about freedom. We are living in a time where public space has become a commodity for corporations to control and dictate what is seen and heard.
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