Designer and fine contemporary artist, Tobias Wong, passed away on May 30th from an apparent suicide, but for some reason I didn’t hear about his death until today. Tobias Wong was known for outrageous send ups of luxury goods and humorous appropriation of work by other designers or businesses – such as McDonald’s Restaurants – which blurred the line between conceptual art and design. He first gained the attention of the design press in 2001 when he turned a Philippe Starck Bubble Club chair into the lamp pictured above. His work reminds me lot of Damien Hirst, who I absolutely think is a genius. Although Wong’s death was ruled a suicide, it is speculated that he actually may have hung himself while sleepwalking. How horrible. He was just 35 years old.
I wanted to give Tobi Wong a little shout out in the blog today, because his death represents such a great loss of talent. Beyond that, if his suicide was indeed unintentional, it is certainly unspeakably tragic to the point of perversity. It’s extremely sobering to think about how fragile life can be as illustrated by the death of an artist who was so young, by all reports happy and fulfilled, and who made such beautiful, provocative things. He would have had a great career ahead of him. Rest in peace, Tobias. I’m glad we have your art to remember you by.