Avant Arte, the curated marketplace that makes discovering and owning art radically more accessible, announces its first collaboration with renowned artist Barry McGee. Together, they will release McGee’s first ever time-limited print edition, Untitled, 2023 that will be available to all for €600.00/ approx. $635.00 on avantarte.com from 3:00pm GMT/ 10:00am ET on 9 November 2023.
Untitled, 2023 is a UV pigment print with fluorescent pink and highlight silkscreen layersmade by Avant Arte’s master printmakers in London. The work taps into McGee’s long-held interest in printmaking that started with experiments in linoleum block and lithograph printing in community college and went on to become his major at the San Francisco Art Institute where he was awarded a BFA in Printmaking and Painting. Throughout the 1990s, McGee worked in a local letterpress shop in San Francisco where he learned to refine his printing techniques on Mid-Century presses.
Untitled, 2023, is based on an original painting by McGee that was montaged together with numerous images and patterns, familiar in his work – the “Everyman” heads, geometric patterns and “DFW” and “IFF” letters.
Barry McGee was one of the pioneers of the Mission School movement, an urban-realist art movement that came out of San Francisco in the 1990s-2000s. His artistic career spans his early life as a graffiti writer on the the streets of San Francisco and is also known by his tag, TWIST through to his current studio-based practice in Bay Area, California. His work incorporates drawings, paintings and mixed-media installations and has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale and leading art institutions including MoMA, SFMoMA, Walker Art Center and Fondazione Prada.
Barry McGee, artist, said: “I like the immediacy of prints and the process of intaglio and silkscreening really captured my imagination. This will be the first print with the time released approach, and hand finished touches. The piece was originally a painting that was montaged together with numerous images and patterns that I’ve been working with over the last year.
The letters have become matras of some sort, rather than specific crews, even if they have started that way. The Everyman heads are just that…very pedestrian and become placeholders or punctuation of some sort within the composition of the work. The geometric patterns are areas to rest the eye and contemplate the images presented to the viewer. I hope people enjoy the chance to have one of my works in their home. ” Christian Luiten, Co-founder and Head of Artist Community, Avant Arte, said:
“We arehonoured to be working with Barry to create his first ever time-limited print edition. Barry has been a hero of mine from the early days of Avant Arte and I’ve always wanted to work together to bring his work to our community. I visit artists in their studios all the time and they often tell me it is Barry who inspired them either directly or through his work that they could be an artist. He crosses all of the traditional boundaries of the art world, traversing the streets of San Francisco with his tagging alongside exhibiting his work at the Venice Biennale and MoMA. This collaboration has grown out a friendship over time and I’m so proud that Avant Arte is able to be a platform to make Barry’s work accessible to an even greater audience.”
The collaboration marks McGee’s first ever time-limited print edition and is offered as part of Avant Arte’s ongoing time-limited edition programme which aims to open up access for art lovers and collectors to acquire the work of leading contemporary artists in a more accessible format. Since commencing the programme in 2021, Avant Arte has supported over 8,000 collectors to acquire art for the first time. Artists from the programme include Ai Weiwei, José Parlá, Nina Chanel Abney, Javier Calleja, Paul Insect, and Parra.
To mark this rare occasion and in another first for the artist, McGee will also have an accompanying hand-finished print edition available to collectors during the same 24 hour window. Untitled (Hand-finished), 2023, each print from the edition has been hand-finished by McGeewith a mix of spray paint and gouache. Each of these works will be individually hand-finished by McGee and will cost €3500.00/ $3690.00 inclusive of shipping. From 2 November to 10 November, Untitled, 2023, will also be displayed at locations chosen by Barry McGee around the world including: CLASSIC (Paris), Scooters For Peace (Tokyo), and OALLERY (Amsterdam). Each location has a special resonance with Barry and offers fans the chance to see this new work in real life with a special surprise for any fans that go down to the locations whilst the works are on display.
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About Barry McGee
Barry McGee received his BFA in painting and printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute and was associated with the Mission School, a movement primarily influenced by urban realism, graffiti, and American folk art, with a focus on social activism. McGee’s works constitute candid and insightful observations of modern society, and his aim of actively contributing to marginalised communities has remained the same throughout his career, from his days as “Twist” (his graffiti moniker) to his current work as a global artist.
Whether it be consumerism or social stratification, McGee has given voice to his concerns through his art, taking on different personas, such as Ray Fong, Lydia Fong, P.Kin, Ray Virgil, and B. Vernon. His trademark motif, a male caricature with droopy eyes, references his empathy for those who identify the streets as their home. His conglomeration of experiences has led McGee to create a unique visual language consisting of geometric patterns, recurring symbols, and the use of the “cluster method,” while experimenting with various unconventional media, including glass bottles and other found objects. His recent large-scale murals and his meticulous archive of paintings and drawings examine the notion of public versus private space and the accessibility of art.
About Avant Arte
Avant Arte is a curated marketplace that makes discovering and owning art radically more accessible for a new generation. From Nina Chanel Abney and Ai Weiwei to Jenny Holzer and FUTURA, Avant Arte collaborates with leading contemporary artists to create limited edition works, from sculpture editions and NFTs to works on paper and hand-finished screenprints.
By connecting artists and art lovers, they are building a growing global community of over 3 million people that is open to everyone. Avant Arte was founded by Curtis Penning, Christian Luiten and Mazdak Sanii.
Image courtesy of Avant Arte.