Photos: Lydia Fong (a.k.a. Barry McGee) at Ratio 3 in S.F.


Having Fong at Ratio 3. Baby not included. (All photos by Gay Swan.)

Barry McGee serves up his signature urban flavors, topped with a few new sprinkles in a surprise show at Ratio 3 in San Francisco. (Bring your own funky glasses to view the infinitely precise 3-D hand drawings in more than one dimension.) The rest is classic McGee…or “Lydia Fong,” as his current alias goes. Color exercises crawl aggressively up three walls like deboned Rubik’s cubes. Contrast that with the sad faces, a gaggle of meticulously rendered masks, hair monsters, and framed napkin doodles. In between the human and the abstract, other urban detritus bubbles up: surfboards, cardboard, a decomposing orange with fruit fly, a baby in bubblegum pink. Oh wait, the baby’s mine.

But what’s outside the Ratio 3 Gallery is just as cool as what’s inside. It’s a one-way alley in McGee’s own Mission Street neighborhood. Next door a woman rescues half-wolf dogs that shelters won’t take. Down a ways, murals and motorcycles take up the sidewalk. All around, there’s weed smoke and freeway noise, Chinese dollar stores and taquerias amid super-eco-chic shops. Welcome to Barry’s world.

The show runs through October 18th.

Click on images to supersize. Much more after the jump.


This would be the decomposing orange.


Outside the gallery, looking like an installation by Cai Guo-Qiang, a wolf dog observes the goings-on from a small ledge.

One comment

  1. Tyler

    do you have any photos of the “gaggle of meticulously rendered masks” or the “hair monsters”? If not, would you mind describing them?