Barry McGee & Clare Rojas
Leave It Alone & Together At Last
June 19 - August 2, 2010
Curated by Terry Donohue
Barry McGee and Clare Rojas are internationally exhibited artists and cult figures. They come to Bolinas to unwind and rejuvenate their spirits. This exhibition is an installation by each of them.
Rojas’ art career has taken her around the world and back again. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design, and later went on to earn her Master’s degree from the Art Institute of Chicago before finally settling down in San Francisco. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including the prestigious Tournasol Award and grants from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation and Joan Mitchell Foundation. She has had solo exhibitions at Deitch Projects, New York City; the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Massachusetts; MUSAC (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León), Spain; Museum Het Doemien, Netherlands and various international group exhibitions.
Rojas plays music too. Under the pseudonym Peggy Honeywell she has released two CDs of her own bluegrass/country music on the Galaxia label. Clare Rojas recently exhibited new paintings in her signature gouache technique placing figures in a crisp and colorful landscape. Combining features of cartoon and folk art, her paintings depict sexual role reversals with the male as the object of a critical (and mocking!) female gaze. Rojas blends ironic spice into the expected charm of her visual treats.
Clare’s education includes B.F.A. Printmaking, Rhode Island School of Design, M.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2002.
A lauded and much-respected cult figure in a bi-coastal subculture that comprises skaters, graffiti artists, and West Coast surfers, Barry McGee was born in 1966 in California, where he continues to live and work. In 1991 he received a BFA in painting and printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute. His drawings, paintings, and mixed-media installations take their inspiration from contemporary urban culture, incorporating elements such as empty liquor bottles and spray-paint cans, tagged signs, wrenches, and scrap wood or metal. McGee is also a graffiti artist, working on the streets of America’s cities since the 1980s, where he is known by the tag name “Twist.” He views graffiti as a vital method of communication, one that keeps him in touch with a larger, more diverse audience than can be reached through the traditional spaces of a gallery or museum. His trademark icon, a caricatured male figure with sagging eyes and a bemused expression, recalls the homeless people and transients who call the streets their home. “Compelling art to me is a name carved into a tree,” says McGee. His work has been shown at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the UCLA/Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and on streets and trains all over the United States.