Barry McGee: Untitled
Sites Unseen, San Francisco, CA
Opened October 9, 2016 – ongoing
Production | Permanent Installation Grant
Sites Unseen—a public art initiative of the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District — commissioned artist Barry McGee to create a permanent mural in several locations on the Moscone Center garage at Clementina Alley and Third Street in San Francisco. The artwork, supported by VIA Art Fund, features geometric patterning, figurative elements, and typography. Born in San Francisco, McGee has been an active and prominent fixture in the Bay Area’s street art scene since the 1980s, yet none of his outdoor public work remains in the city, where he continues to live today. Through VIA’s support of the project, McGee returns to the public sphere with a large-scale painted work including elements that celebrate his Chinese heritage as well as the area’s significant and growing Asian-American population.
McGee’s project is part of Sites Unseen’s Living Space: Art in the Alleys initiative, which programs eight alleyways—all located in the Yerba Buena neighborhood—with new artistic commissions and engages local communities through dynamic temporary interventions. These projects respond directly to the specific conditions of each alley, as well as issues facing the Bay area at large. McGee’s project is part of a larger effort to create “living spaces” of respite that are also sites of community pride, as well as establish a sense of place, by creating a distinct urban identity for one of the most touristic and demographically diverse areas of the city.