(The show is sadly closed now). But if you are in NYC and have some time I highly recommend a visit to the Bronx Museum of Art (free!) to see the Martin Wong exhibit before it closes on March 13th. Most of the work was painted by Martin in the Lower East Side of Manhattan from the late 70s through the early 90s. He died of AIDS in San Francisco in 1999 under the care of his family.
The show shows work throughout his career and does an excellent job of placing him in the context of the place that was the Lower East Side in the 80s and 90s. His love for the place, its art (he was a big documentarian of the neighborhood graffiti) and its people is very apparent. Plus the show is beautifully curated — it’s a pleasure to see pieces from various distances and different angles, and that blue on the walls with the blonde wood floors is just a “Wow!”
Sometimes I find it hard to put my finger on why artwork affects me viscerally. This does and I’ll just leave it at that.