He befriended graffiti artists including “Daze” (Chris Ellis), “Lee” (Lee Quiñones), and “La Roc”/“LA2” (Angel Ortiz), and made efforts to publicize their works in exhibitions at the Museum of American Graffiti. Wong’s romantic relationship with poet and playwright Miguel Piñero, whom Wong met in 1982, also had a significant impact on his work, as they collaborated artistically throughout the 1980s.Wong was closely associated with the downtown galleries Semaphore, Exit Art, and PPOW, and his works were shown in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, and New-York Historical Society. Wong died of an AIDS-related illness in 1999.
The Martin Wong Papers contain over one hundred sketches and drawings, more than thirty sketchbooks, correspondence, poetry and prose, biographical documents, source material, audio and video cassette recordings, photographs, graffiti tagbooks, and books from his personal library.
To learn more about the contents of the Martin Wong Papers, located at the NYU Fales Library & Special Collections, view the collection’s finding aid.