Alicia McCarthy was born in Oakland, California in 1969. She is known by her signature style of vibrantly colored, often woven patterns made with spray paint, colored pencils, gouache and latex paint on mixed media panels. Her paintings bear a sculptural weight that is juxtaposed by their deceptively simple mark and image making. Although visually abstract, McCarthy’s motifs - a weave or rainbow, for instance - are deeply personal and the works often include an indication of physical presence, such as the ring left by a coffee cup, print from a boot or a note written by the artist.
McCarthy is often associated with the Mission School, a movement that emerged in the 1990s in the Mission District of San Francisco. The movement encompassed a group of artists who take their inspiration from urban culture of the Mission District, graffiti and street art. The movement is according associated with the use of non-traditional artistic materials and found objects.