Barry McGee is a highly respected and admired individual who counts his followers amongst skaters, graffiti artists, and even surfers as well as the more traditional gallery audiences. His artwork has been presented in locations such as the Walker Art Center, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, UCLA Hammer Museum, and in the American streets as street art. At an early age, Barry began tagging in the neighborhoods of his surrounding cities. In the 1980s, he used the graffiti tag name “twist” throughout the streets of San Francisco. However, because his name was well known near his home city, he felt a deep need to expand to other areas, including places not traditionally known for promoting street art or graffiti—art galleries.
McGee found the change suited to him, and quickly rose to fame when he began working as an artist for the more diverse audience found within the traditional gallery space. By then, his prototypical graffiti character with sagging eyes on a bemused expression had become an iconic trademark. He also served as a high influence within the urban art scene and street art community. Barry is often regarded as one of the first street art pioneers to paint within gallery walls.