James Kalm helps to memorialize a wonderful artist. Janet Paparelli via email
Wong’s mature work ranged from gritty, heartfelt renderings of the decaying Lower East Side, to playful, almost kitschy depictions of New York’s and San Francisco’s Chinatowns, to “traffic signs for the hearing impaired”. He is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Nuyorican poet Miguel Piñero, paintings that often combined Piñero’s poetry or prose with Wong’s painstaking cityscapes and stylized fingerspelling. (Wiki)
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Untitled prison image here.
Martin Wong is dead a painter of poetic realism (Aug 18, 1999 Roberta Smith – NYtimes )
In the early 1990’s, Mr. Wong focused increasingly on Chinese, or more specifically Chinese-American subject matter, fashioning a fluid but characteristically hybrid style that drew on classical sources, childhood memories, Hollywood movie stereotypes and his collection of Chinatown gift shop souvenirs.
Piñero – Benjamin Bratt played a poet and lover of Martin Wong who died a decade earlier. (Youtube trailer)
Piñero played an important role in acquainting partner, artist Martin Wong with the Lower East Side, becoming a benefactor at a time when Wong found it difficult to meet his rent. Several of Wong’s paintings are illustrations of poems given to him by Piñero. (wiki)
Many thanks to Janet Paparelli