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Alicia McCarthy

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I think that I was attracted to the California artists more than the New York school because they seem to have more fun and seem to be a little bit more loose and carefree with their identities as well. (…) The Abstract Expressionists all wore suits and their California counterparts weren’t doing that stuff, they were more like in the vein of a rock star. I’m very interested in the artist identity and how it plays out in popular culture right now. Artists are very interesting people and identity is part of their practice at this point. It’s sort of unavoidable.”

Interview by Priscillia Frank, The Huffington Post, July 2014.

Alicia McCarthy (1969) lives and works in Oakland, California. Alicia McCarthy’s delicate abstract paintings embrace a punk/folk aesthetic (also called “urban rustic”) that combines the Bohemian street Culture of San Francisco with forms of folk art.

Drawn to the discarded, McCarthy’s intimate works are often made using materials and tools that have been abandoned, shared or recycled, her works are often accompanied by texts that allude to her long history in the street art community and her central role in the “Mission School”; a group of artists working in the Mission District of San Francisco in the early 1990s that emerged in the pre-dot com boom of the Bay Area. McCarthy alongside Chris Johanson, Margaret Kilgallen, Ruby Neri and Barry McGee, has come to embody the street and graffiti culture of this lively rustic aesthetic.

Her work has been featured in numerous institutions including the Berkeley Arts Center and the Dallas Museum of Art as well as the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles.

Alicia McCarthy (1969) vit et travaille à Oakland en Californie. Son délicat travail de peinture abstraite adopte une esthétique punk/folk (aussi appelée “urban rustic”) qui combine la culture de rue bohémienne de San Francisco aux formes d’arts populaires.

Produites souvent à partir de matériaux et d’outils abandonnés, partagés ou recyclés, les œuvres intimes d’Alicia McCarthy s’accompagnent de textes qui font allusion à sa longue histoire dans la communauté Street Art et à son rôle central dans la “Mission School”, un groupe d’artistes travaillant dans le Mission District de San Francisco dans le début des années 1990. Emergeant dans l’aire pré-dot.com dans la Bay Area, McCarthy incarne, aux côtés de Chris Johanson, Margaret Kilgallen, Ruby Neri et Barry McGee, la culture street et graffiti liée à cette esthétique rustique.

Son travail a été présenté dans de nombreuses institutions parmi lesquelles le Berkeley Art Center et le Dallas Museum of Art ou encore le Craft and Folk Art Museum de Los Angeles.

Alicia McCarthy (1969) leeft en werkt in Oakland, Californië. Alicia McCarthy’s delicate, abstracte schilderijen belichamen een punkfolkesthetiek (ook wel “urban rustiek” genoemd), die de bohemien straatcultuur van San Francisco combineert met verschillende vormen van volkskunst.

Doordat ze zich aangetrokken voelt tot afgedankte items, gebruikt McCarthy voor haar intiemere werk vaak materiaal en voorwerpen die gedumpt, gerecycleerd of weggeschonken zijn. Bij haar werk vinden we teksten die verwijzen naar haar lange geschiedenis binnen de street art community en de centrale rol die ze gespeeld heeft in de “Mission School” – een groep artiesten die zijn oorsprong vond in de pre-dot com boom van Bay Area en die in de vroege jaren ‘90 actief was in het Mission District van San Francisco. Samen met Chris Johanson, Margaret Kilgallen, Ruby Neri en Barry McGee, representeert McCarthy de straat en graffiticultuur van die levendige, rustieke esthetiek.

Haar werk is tentoongesteld in talloze instellingen zoals het Berkeley Arts Center, het Dallas Museum of Art en het Craft and Folk Art museum in Los Angeles.

Artist's works