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Matthew Wong, 'River at Night,' 2018, oil on canvas

“River at Night” by Matthew Wong

I discovered a new favorite artist on the day he died–too young at 35, Matthew Wong. A tribute to Wong’s artwork and an announcement of his death appeared in my feeder early in October and I was captivated by what I saw there. His work defies description for his influences were many: van Gogh, Matisse, Munch. But his vision was uniquely his own, a lush surreal mysticism, so richly complex that at first glance I missed the small mysterious figures or structures that are often hidden within, as we see in the painting below with the figure in a canoe.

One of my favorites comes next, and seems almost prescient: a lone figure looking across a white void to a tiny house set at the base of a green flowing mountain. An exotic red bird, wings spread, looks on, as if poised to fly him home.

It’s tragic to lose one so gifted so early. But something of his essence survives in his artwork, and continues to excite and inspire. And perhaps, to invite us to look more deeply into our own lush mindscapes to find what’s hidden within.

“The Beginning” by Matthew Wong

“See You On the Other Side,” 2019. Oil on canvas.

“See You on the Other Side” by Matthew Wong

“The Realm of Appearances,” by Matthew Wong, who had been painting and drawing seriously only since 2013. But critics, impressed by his striking canvases, invoked Vincent van Gogh, Édouard Vuillard and other familiar painters in assessing his work and its impact.

“The Realm of Appearances” by Matthew Wong

“The Kingdom” by Matthew Wong

“Starlight,” 2019. Oil on canvas.

“Starlight” by Matthew Wong

To find out more about Matthew Wong or see more of his artwork, check out these links: