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Currently Venerating: The Lost New York Ethos Of Martin Wong

Attorney Street Handball Court by Martin WongAttorney Street Handball Court by Martin Wong

Last fall The Bronx Museum of the Arts staged a major retrospective of the work of Martin Wong, examining the trajectory of the artist’s career. Through more than 90 works, as well as rarely seen archival materials, "Human Instamatic" explored Wong’s textured presentation of the communities in which he lived, his role in the artistic and cultural ferment of the East Village and the Lower East Side of the 1980s, and works he created in San Francisco at the end of his tragically shortened life. The exhibition was organized by Director of Curatorial and Education Programs Sergio Bessa and Adjunct Curator Yasmin Ramírez.

“Martin Wong boldly defied the notion of boundary,” said Holly Block, Executive Director of The Bronx Museum of the Arts. “As an artist, he overhauled assumptions that a painter is defined by their identity. Within his work he embraced the complexity and hybrid nature of urban culture—mixing everything from graffiti and Chinese calligraphy, to West Coast and East Coast styles, to star constellations and crumbling tenement walls of the Lower East Side. We are looking forward to finally examining his entire career at the Bronx Museum, and to sharing his work once again with one of the cities he called home.”

Taste is a dictatorship.


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