Barry McGee Creates Larger-than-Life Mural for "Art in the Streets: New York"
For all of the work Barry McGee has done, and for all of the walls he has tagged, never has the artist had a canvas quite as large as the exterior wall of the Mark Morris Dance Center, part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The multi-arts venue, with support from Vanity Fair and Cadillac, is now home to the impressive McGee original.
After 900 hours and 75 gallons of paint, McGee and the six other painters who assisted him, completed the 100 feet long by 70 feet tall painting. Director and choreographer Mark Morris, of the Mark Morris Dance Center, couldn’t be happier that McGee has taken over the outside of the center – he believes that the newfound energy brought to the exterior of the building mirrors the energy of the dancing that is happening indoors. “They’re related just because we come from the same sort of culture,” he says.
The larger-than-life mural, a patchwork of McGee’s iconic pseudonyms and geometric designs, references the artist’s most recent exhibition at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), which featured similar floor-to-ceiling, seamless montages.
This will be Cadillac and Vanity Fair’s second “Art in the Streets” project, the first of which showcased the work of Retna, Kenny Scharf, and Shepard Fairey, whose works were featured prominently on public libraries in West Hollywood.
Check out a behind-the-scenes video with McGee, Morris, and UC Berkely Art Museum curators here and view an accompanying portfolio spread in Vanity Fair’s December 2012 issue.
Text: Nicola Parisi
Photo: Vanity Fair