Supreme Pays Homage to Late Queer Painter Martin Wong With New Collection
A collection celebrating the works of late New York artist Martin Wong has just hit Supreme stores this week.
Martin Wong x Supreme FW19 Collection, which was made available across multiple Supreme stores on November 14, is a collaborative release with the estate of the late artist.
Born in Portland, Oregon in 1946, the Chinese-American painter was largely overlooked by the art establishment in the 1980s when he was actively creating multiple works of art. Most of the recognition and public adoration came posthumously.
As a young man in San Francisco, Wong got his intro into the art world when he got a job designing sets and props for radical queer performance art troupes.
In 1978, Wong moved to New York and eventually settled in Loisaida, a Hispanic-dominant neighborhood situated in the Lower East Side, according to Hypebeast.
It was believed that Wong honed his art skills there, making use of the public space as his painting canvass. His early works included inspiration from Nuyorican poet and playwright Miguel Piñero.
Wong passed away in 1999 at age 53 in San Francisco. Reports say he died due to his complications with AIDS.
Curator Barry Blinderman describes Wong’s work as paintings that “charted a world of unquenchable desire – the steadily burning flame of unrequited love, the junkie’s endless craving for oblivion, the poet’s wheel of misfortune, the alchemist or astrologer’s quest for meaning in the elements and stars.”
In his New York Times obituary, Wong was described as an artist “whose meticulous visionary realism is among the lasting legacies of New York’s East Village art scene of the 1980s.”
Wong’s distinct artwork is featured in multiple Supreme designs, including two Rayon shirts, a long-sleeve shirt, three T-shirts, two skate decks, a beanie and the Schott leather jacket and hoodie.
Supreme’s New York, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and Paris will be the first outlets to sell the limited-edition collection.