Play Nice, Die Young at Peacock Room, May 2013
900 Lives at CityArts Factory, June 2013
Orlando artist Boy Kong first wowed us with his spectacular 3-D painted-wood works displayed at Tako Cheena last October (Anti-Happy Story Time), and that was before we found out that he’s only 19 years old. Following his first Art Basel Miami Beach show in December, Kong has been working relentlessly to fill gallery walls. His May show at Peacock Room, Play Nice, Die Young, was “inspired by the Greeks’ ‘black-figure’ paintings,” he said, and gave us a glimpse into the guts of some of Kong’s spirit animals. But it was his contribution to June’s B-Side Artists Annual Showcase, 900 Lives, that really stunned us. Kong hand-cut and painted 100 seemingly identical maneki-neko (“lucky cat”) prints, each “gifted with their own human touch/flaws.” Boy Kong’s YouTube videos reveal a young artist willing to invest the hard work necessary to bring his wooden menagerie to life.