Martin Wong, an East Village artist and collector of graffiti art, amassed a significant body of street art which included works by Keith Haring, Lee Quiñones, LADY PINK, FUTURA 2000, Dondi, Christopher “Daze” Ellis, and more. The Museum of City of New York exhibition City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection, which opens on February 4th, is showcasing Wong’s massive collection, beginning with photographs of graffiti writing long lost in New York City’s subways and on buildings.
Wong moved to New York City from San Francisco and worked at Pearl Paint on Canal Street where he met many of the artists. The recent companion Rizzoli book City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti from the Martin Wong Collection similarly explores the birth of the street art movement in New York City through the lens of Wong’s collection. Wong donated his collection to The Museum of the City of New York in 1994 and passed away from AIDS in 1999.
Here are some more pieces from the collection:
Sane Smith, Untitled, ca. 1989
Lee Quiñones, Howard the Duck, 1988
Lady Pink, “The Death of Graffiti,” 1982
Futura 2000, Untitled, 1982 Christopher “Daze” Ellis, “Classic,” 1984