Matt King, Artist and Visionary Cofounder of Immersive Art Giant Meow Wolf, Has Died at 37

Matt King, 1 of the cofounders and a driving pressure powering Meow Wolf, the immersive arts and leisure organization fashioned in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2008, died on Saturday, July 9. Elevated in Arlington, Texas, he was 37 yrs old. No additional particulars of King’s death have been manufactured general public, although Meow Wolf’s Fb web page explained it as “sudden.” 

The company posted a memorial to King on social media on Monday afternoon. It study: “Matt’s work as both equally a collaborator and artist was like no other: monumental, groundbreaking, otherworldly, and wild. This is a tremendous loss to the entire world. And we are enormously grateful to have shared time and house with him.”

King was an instrumental determine guiding a firm that the New York Moments Journal once described as “the Disney of the expertise financial state.” Contributing to Meow Wolf’s flagship challenge in Santa Fe, The Residence of Everlasting Return, a 20,000-sq.-foot facility that provided a live performance venue and artwork installation, King also was instrumental in the development of dozens of the other innovative endeavors affiliated with the organization. 

Meow Wolf cofounders Sean Di Ianni, Matt King, Corvas Brinkerhoff, Emily Montoya, Caity Kennedy, Benji Geary, and Vince Kadlubek at Omega Mart in Las Vegas, 2021. Photo courtesy of Meow Wolf.

Meow Wolf cofounders Sean Di Ianni, Matt King, Corvas Brinkerhoff, Emily Montoya, Caity Kennedy, Benji Geary, and Vince Kadlubek at Omega Mart in Las Vegas, 2021. Photograph courtesy of Meow Wolf.

In the course of the group’s early a long time, King played an instrumental purpose in coming up with some of the surreal environments the firm would grow to be renowned for, such as futuristic sets that appeared straight out of a Stanley Kubrick film. Meow Wolf inevitably turned the dwelling of wayward artists and designers of all varieties.

“Matt was present at the incredibly initial Meow Wild assembly in 2008,” the company’s memorial read through, “along with Quinn Tincher, [they] produced Meow Wolf’s initially immersive art clearly show prior to any person at Meow Wolf even knew what immersive artwork was.”

To begin with established as an artist collective—involving King, Sean Di Ianni, Corvas Brinkerhoff, Emily Montoya, Caity Kennedy, Benji Geary, and Vince Kadlubek—Meow Wolf promptly ballooned into a multi-million-dollar art corporation. 

“We commenced out in 2008 as just a Do it yourself team of artists who got collectively to make artwork, throw functions, and have audio demonstrates in a warehouse in Santa Fe,” Sean Di Ianni claimed in 2021. “Now we have a workforce of painters and sculptors, graphic designers, lighting and audio artists, men and women operating with augmented and digital reality, digital artists and programmers, costumers and performers, and designers of all forms.”

Just a decade following its founding, with offshoots and pop-up installations recognized throughout the state, the firm introduced in additional than $158 million in earnings and used a personnel of 900. 

C Avenue Meow Wolf Denver. Photo by Kennedy Cottrell, courtesy of Meow Wolf.

In full, King was included in at minimum 34 Meow Wolf projects above the several years. “We will honor Matt’s spirit by carrying his brilliance ahead in our get the job done and in our day-to-day lives, constructing on the monumental legacy that he leaves behind,” Meow Wolf’s CEO Jose Tolosa wrote in a assertion. “Thousands have been deeply touched by the inventive genius of his perform, and nothing at all speaks to Matt’s affect much more than the Meow Wolf community who is coming alongside one another in his honor.” 

Marsi Gray, a senior imaginative producer at Meow Wolf, echoed that sentiment. “Matt, a single of the founders of Meow Wolf, has been these types of a attractive, darling, attractive, amusing humorous humorous, amazing presence that has been foundational to the earlier 4.5 decades I have labored with the firm,” she stated in a assertion. “Such a tough worker, so dedicated, and possible the most beloved human in our total corporation. Our spirit animal. Laughter and perform trailed all around him, regularly. I believe of Matt and I consider of laughter.”

The entrance to Meow Wolf's Omega Mart at Area 15 in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Meow Wolf.

The entrance to Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart at Place 15 in Las Vegas. Image courtesy of Meow Wolf.

His contribution to the Santa Fe art scene touched lots of, with tributes pouring in on social media  both from those who knew King individually and these who had been only touched by his art. 

In an interview with Artnet News’s Sarah Cascone in Oct 2021, King spoke of his need to see men and women issue the nature of truth by Meow Wolf’s immersive art operates. “What we want is for persons leaving to walk out questioning what is reality,” he reported. “Who am I, and what am I, what can I definitely do to make a favourable adjust on the environment? We’re not dystopian, that is not our outlook. We really do not want doom and gloom.”

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Kenneth Proto

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