This fall I saw a Barry McGee retrospective at the Berkeley Art Museum. I went to the show expecting to see totally rad installations by this Mission School graffiti artist, but what I didn’t expect was how inspirational I’d find his work. I love his play with color and pattern. And I especially responded to the way he combined disperate marks all in one piece – everything from bold graffiti swoops, drips, and brush strokes to fine detailed work.
It’s true. I’ve got a thing for stripes. I notice them everywhere. Pinks houses too, but that’s for another post. Lately I feel the need to add stripes to all of my paintings. I think it has something to do with their orderly nature. Bright strips of color stacked neatly side by side. Painting them is also a neat endeavor and the process of carefully laying out all those stripes clears out the mess in my mind.
On a recent trip to the Bay Area, I had the pleasure of visiting book artist Macy Chadwick in her Oakland studio. She was hard at work on Observations of Listening, a collaboration with artist Jen McKnight. As her press name suggests, Macy loves collaborating with other artists and I found evidence of this scattered throughout her cozy backyard studio. Images, notes and letters from her peers decorated her studio walls. Macy welcomes collaborations because of the energy it brings to her art and states that “it’s a visual conversation with other artists”. Macy and I collaborated on a project several years ago and it was a fantastic experience which I hope to repeat!