Broke and Bespoke

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FRIDAY L@TE NIGHT at the BAM/PFA (Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive)

I stopped in to the BAM/PFA last night to hear Peggy Honeywell perform some soothing acoustic numbers. Honeywell is the alter-ego of contemporary artist Clare Rojas, who also happens to be married to Barry McGee, aka TwistOne, whose mid-career survey is currently on exhibition at the BAM/PFA through Dec. 9. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly encourage you to check it out.

While McGee is a famous contemporary artist, he first came to my attention when I was a teenager working on my graffiti styles back in the early 1990s. I met him once at a “writers” meeting decades ago, but we got to chat for a little bit last night. He knew I was a (former) graffiti artist, and asked me to sign the book above. Though I was without a chisel-tipped pen I managed to eke out something respectable, and even got some nice compliments on my “E.” Not the one in this  tumblr’s masthead, but a different less legible, and more flourish-ey one. Fortunately I copyrighted it on the spot, and so any future use of this “E” ought to properly attributed. ;-) In any case, we reminisced a bit about Berkeley/Bay Area graffiti in the 90s (a high point for the form internationally I might say…), and he signed my book for me (I’ve lost the one he signed for me back circa 1992)—and someone else even showed up with a huge blue chisel-tipped paint pen.

Hometown pride. Go Bears!!

Hometown pride. Go Bears!!

Barry McGee aka TwistOne Mid-Career Survey @ BAM/PFA 8/24-12/9/2012

The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) will be holding a mid-career survey of artist Barry McGee’s work from August 24th through December 9.

For those of you who live in the Bay Area, and who are interested in contemporary art, street art, and/or graffiti art, this is a must-see show. Barry McGee now enjoys widespread fame as a contemporary artist, but before then he was also a well-known graffiti artist out of San Francisco tagging Twist.

He was a major figure in my graffiti-filled youth, and I’m very excited to see the show. To sweeten things, Living Social is offering a deal right now for 60% off the cost of sponsor-level annual membership for 2 at the BAM/PFA.

For $60 you get annual membership for 2 to the BAM/PFA which hosts a number of awesome shows/events throughout the year, free admission to the museum’s L@te: Friday Night’s @ BAM/PFA series (which will be including a Devendra Banhart concert),  2 invitations to the opening night cocktail reception for McGee, and a copy of a sketchbook designed by TwistOne himself.

Though, out of pride for East Bay graffiti history (and nostalgia’s sake), it must be noted that in a recent conversation about Bay Area graffiti, McGee made especial mention of the influence of the folks holding it down in Berkeley, CA., in the mid-to-late 80s and early 90s: Heist (later/now Gigs), Nac, Wim, Rakus, Razr, Mar, Peace, Pace, etc. of the FSC, AFK, KTD crews.

*Photo Sources: From top to bottom, L to R: 1) Craig Costello: Roseville Trainyards, 1995; digital scan from silver gelatin negative courtesy of the artist; 2) Barry McGee: Untitled, 2005; acrylic on glass bottles, wire; dimensions variable; Lindemann Collection, Miami Beach. Photo: Mariano Costa Peuser; 3) Barry McGee: Untitled, 2005; courtesy Deitch Archive, New York. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging. Bottom row, all images courtesy of U.C. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Came upon this housetruck after lunch the other day. Wonder where it’s been…?

Came upon this housetruck after lunch the other day. Wonder where it’s been…?