Photo Diary: Barry McGee at the ICA Boston.

Untitled 2005-2012 by Barry McGee at ICA Boston
Untitled 2005-2012, one of Barry McGee’s wall “boils” at the ICA.

Detail from an untitled installation constructed with old letter press trays by Barry McGee.
Detail from an untitled installation constructed with old letter press trays.

An object from Barry McGee's
These are some of my favorite pieces in the show: bulbous paper mache (I think) spheres with bits of McGee’s trademark sign lettering on them. There’s something very Katamari Damacy about them.

Untitled, 1999-2012 by Barry McGee
A portion of an untitled wall piece from 1999-2012. I like the way he buffs out pieces of the piece only to layer over it.

Untitled, 1998 by Barry McGee
Another untitled piece, this one comprised of framed drawings, pictures and other ephemera.

Detail from Untitled, 1998
A detail from the above installation. McGee has a keen sense of what makes the street interesting: from its characters to its improvised private spaces.

Untitled 1992/2012 by Barry McGee at the ICA Boston
The exhibit contains plenty of ephemera. Seen here, an installation from 1992/2012, that contains a rack full of old spray cans.

Untitled 2002/2012, a TV set tower, by Barry McGee
A tower of TVs, from 2002/2012, features McGee’s trademark images: digitized tags, geometric patterns, and found footage that in some way references street culture (including graffiti).

A detail from Untitled 2002/2012
A detail from the TV tower.

A Barry McGee wall boil at the ICA
A wood wall boil, with a percussive element.

Detail from the wooden wall boil, at ICA Boston
A wood sculpture is used to drum against the piece. (Unfortunately I didn’t get to see it in action.)

In the Contemporary Art Centre room, a mound of Barry McGee ephemera
A room dubbed the “Contemporary Art Centre” pulls together all kinds of ephemera in the form of glass vitrines and wall hangings. In addition to producing his own work, McGee is a habitual chronicler of street culture. (This arrangement caught my eye because my dad used to collection those weird old man heads.)

Barry McGee's jacket
Certainly, part of this gathering of objects results in a good amount of self-mythologizing.

McGee's paper mache spheres.
Would love to see a room full of the paper mache spheres.

Barry McGee at the ICA Boston
Like the repurposed wood sculptures.

In the foreground, untitled 2004-2012.
Repurposed wood sculptures spray away endlessly before a collaged wall.

Untitled 1999-2012, by Barry McGee
A structure covered in old letterpress trays features one of McGee’s trademark figures: one of his down-and-out men.

A detail of a wall installation from the Contemporary Art Centre room
A detail of an installation in the ephemera gallery.

Untitled 2005/2012 by Barry McGee
An animatronic tribute to McGee’s collaborator Josh Lazcano (aka AMAZE).

Wall Boil by Barry McGee
The wall boils always look as if they are on the verge of oozing out all over the gallery floor. There’s something mildly hallucinatory about these. I feel like I continually have to ask myself, “Is that wall breathing?”

Detail of a wall boil by Barry McGee
A photographic detail.

Wide view of Barry McGee's Untitled 2005-2012.
A wide view of the piece.

Barry McGee is on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston through September 2.

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