Redwood Curtain Theatre is excited to exhibit graffiti-influenced paintings by Sonny Wong for the months of April and May. An original “Devil’s Playground” artist, Wong has been graffiti-writing for a long time. “I was knocking down walls long before Devil’s Playground became known as a place for out of town street artists to travel to and make their mark.” Although he’s not painting as many wall-sized murals, Wong is a prolific artist today, He works as a graphic designer, but he’s best known locally for the 101 covers he created for Savage Henry magazine over the first few years of the magazine’s existence.
Wong helps us understand the origins of graffiti art “Graffiti is letter-based art. In the days of monks creating illuminated manuscripts, they believed that the shape and the forms of the letters they created was a way to keep evil away. Street artists take that concept into the art we create – we build the proverbial strength of a ship into the shapes and designs of the lettering we include in a piece of work.”
Wong’s work is heavily influenced by his early childhood love of cartoons plus kung fu and ninja movies. That later became an interest in the way of the samurai, and an appreciation for Japanese anime. His paintings often include dragons or geisha, or a combination therein. The work on display at Redwood Curtain will be from the past five years and Wong explains that almost every piece is experimental. “I’m always trying new techniques and changing the style of what I’m working on.” He goes on to say “I recently painted a plein air landscape. Because of the graffiti influence, the trees may not look stylistically like trees, but the piece is definitely a plein air painting, where I worked outside and painted the landscape I saw.”
Wong’s graffiti inspired art will be on display in the lobby gallery at Redwood Curtain Theatre for the months of April and May, and through the theatrical production of Prodigal Son which runs April 25 – May 18. The Redwood Curtain theatre and gallery are located at 220 1stStreet, Eureka. For additional information about Arts Alive at Redwood Curtain Theatre, Wong’s art show or the upcoming theatre production visit www.redwoodcurtain.com or call the theatre at 707-443-7688.