A piece in this week's New Yorker tells the powerful story of San Francisco artists Margaret Kilgallen, Barry McGee, and Clare Rojas a love triangle of sorts with a tragic twist in that Kilgallen died far too young, in 2001 at the age of 34, due to breast cancer. Kilgallen and McGee were seen as the "king and queen" of what was later called the Mission School, a loosely associated collective of local artists in the 1990s, mostly influenced by "low-brow" forms like graffiti and folk art traditions.
Rojas and Kilgallen were mutual admirers of each other, and even exhibited together the same year that Kilgallen died, which was also the same year Kilgallen gave birth to her and McGee's only child, Asha. The New Yorker piece tells the story of what McGee and Rojas now think of as their "arranged marriage," arranged by Kilgallen, in which the younger Rojas stepped in to the role of wife and mother shortly after Kilgallen's death, and has remained there ever since.
The brilliant Art 21 series on PBS luckily did the hour-long profile you can watch below while Kilgallen and McGee were still in their prime and together. And the video provides some fun glimpses of SF streets in the late '90s, where Kilgallen often took pictures of hand-painted signs, and where McGee made graffiti art.