V1 GALLERY PROUDLY PRESENTS
An exhibition by Barry McGee & Todd James
The exhibition consists of new works in a variety of media – paintings on canvas and wood, sculpture, drawing and an array of various elements. The exhibition is organized, or disorganized, as a collaborative installation between the two artists. Booth artists work with a distinct, bold and iconic visual language. In FUD the two merge creating rhythm and disruption, visual punk. Todd James and Barry McGee have throughout their careers been interested in the periphery, people and places just outside or inside “the normal”. They both understand and sometimes champion the outsider and see beauty in anarchy and autonomy. Their artistic output has a rare empathetic quality, delivering critique and resistance in a consumerist culture obsessed with progress, without falling into the pitfall of righteousness.
Todd James, born 1969, lives and works on the American East Cost in New York City. His work is informed by the images we know from the constant stream of media we are swimming in. He distills these images, giving the viewer a chance for brief contemplation, in a time that rarely offers such. He has developed a distinctive artistic style informed by the world of cartoons and graffiti as well as painters such as Willem de Kooning, Peter Saul, Matisse and Franz Kline. His paintings are colorful, often humorous, aggressive and gentle at the same time. In his new body of work Todd James has created bold tableaus populated by naked women smoking cigarettes, lounging with plants, cats and cobras. A large striking totem like painting is a homage to the late great Rammellzee. James has recently exhibited at The Venice Biennale 2015, Lazarides Gallery, Galleria Javier Lopez and MOCA Los Angeles.
Barry McGee, born 1966, lives and works on the American West Coast in San Francisco. He works in a wide variety of media; painting on wood, drawing, zines, photography, sculpture and large-scale installation. McGee refuges hierarchies of material or subject matter and all formats are treated equally. McGee's artistic style incorporates a multitude of inspirations – American folk art, sign making, op art and graffiti. His work is influenced by, and reflects upon contemporary society, especially those that tend to be left behind by it, or choose not to play by its rules. In the recent body of work McGee pushes his imagery into the iconic, figures and shapes are barely indicated, then repeated and mixed with abstract patterns. McGee has recently been the subject of three large survey exhibitions at the Modern Art Museum of Ft. Worth Texas, the Berkeley Art Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.
Barry McGee and Todd James practices are influenced by bicoastal metropolitan culture. They share a passion for graffiti and independent movements in general. A passion that originated before the popularity the net brought to the “culture” and before the aesthetic was accepted (and appropriated) by commercial forces and cultural institutions.
Both artists have become recognized as highly influential pioneers, probably against their will and efforts. They have collaborated on numerous occasions over the past 15 years – The seminal Street Market exhibitions, 2000, (with Steve Powers) at Deitch Projects that would travel to Tokyo and the Venice Biennale in 2001, the Beautiful Losers exhibitions and Art In The Streets, MOCA, Los Angeles. Their last collaborate effort in Copenhagen was Brush Strokes in 2010. A limited edition publication created on the occasion of FUD featuring work by Lydia Fong, Magnus Vind, Alicia McCarthy, Josh Lazcano, E.B ITSO, Dan Murphy and Todd James will be available for free.