One of the great surprises this summer was a new Barry McGee show that popped up last weekend at Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society on Long Island with Auto Body. Set in the lovely backdrop of Bellport, about 70 miles outside of Manhattan, Mid-Summer Fender Bender allows viewers to see McGee's iconic works and installations in a coastal, serene surrounding, a perfect place to see both his graffiti and collage style presentations with his stunning pattern clusters. The show will be on view through September 15th.
With a museum show on view now in Santa Barbara at the MCA Santa Barbara, as well as an upcoming show with V1 Gallery/Eighteen in Copenhagen, it's been a busy summer for the San Francisco-based McGee. But that fits not only this special presentation in Bellport, but the overall vibe of McGee's work. There are clusters next to open spaces, jumbled collage walls and works placed on the ground with a lone mini-surfboard on the wall. There's action and serenity all over. A study in contrasts: urban vs rural, folk vs graffiti, painting vs collage.
As the gallery notes, "(McGee's) display of text-based works and politically-motivated drawings organically flow from the gallery space onto the village streets, intending to stir unexpected conversation and communication and to catch the gaze of residents who pass by. Putting to work his innately collaborative approach to art-making, McGee’s town-takeover engages the Bellport’s historical society, its surrounding streets, and even its local auto body shop to loan out cars on top of which his tarps are exhibited."
Barry McGee’s ‘Bellport takeover’ includes a collection of artworks at the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society gallery (BBHS), a series of spray-painted tarps installed on cars and objects on the streets of Bellport Village, limited edition prints and silkscreened tee shirts on display at the BBHS Exchange Shop, and surfboards assembled in a vacant storefront on Bellport’s Main Street.
The show is also accompanied by a audio installation by Bradford Walters and a series of outdoor installations in Bellport Village, NY.