Matt King, Artist and Visionary Cofounder of Immersive Art Giant Meow Wolf, has passed away

Matt King, one of the cofounders and a driving force behind Meow Wolf, the immersive arts and entertainment company formed in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2008, died on Saturday, July 9. Raised in Arlington, Texas, he is 37 years old, according to previously published artist profiles. No further details of King’s death have been made public, though Meow Wolf’s Facebook page described it as “sudden.”

The company posted a memorial to King on social media on Monday afternoon. It wrote: “Matt’s work as both collaborator and actor is unique: overwhelming, groundbreaking, unworldly, and wild. This is a huge loss to the world. And we are so grateful that we were able to share time and space with him. ”

King is an instrumental figure behind a company that does New York Times Magazine sometimes described as “Disney’s economic experience.” Contributing to the Meow Wolf flagship project in Santa Fe, Tthe Home of the Eternal Return, a 20,000-square-foot facility that includes a concert venue and art installation,King has also helped create dozens of other creative efforts associated with the company.

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. Photo courtesy of Meow Wolf.

In the early years of the group, King played a major role in creating some of the surreal environments for which the company would be known, including futuristic sets that emerged directly from a Stanley Kubrick film. Meow Lobo eventually became home to rebellious artists and designers of all kinds.

“Matt was there at the very first Meow Wild meeting in 2008,” the company memorial said, “with Quinn Tincher, [they] created Meow Wolf’s first immersive art show before anyone at Meow Wolf knew what immersive art was. “

Originally founded as an artist collective — involving King, Sean Di Ianni, Corvas Brinkerhoff, Emily Montoya, Caity Kennedy, Benji Geary, and Vince Kadlubek — Meow Wolf quickly climbed into a multi-million dollar company. art.

“We started in 2008 as just a DIY group of artists who came together to make art, hold parties, and have music shows in a warehouse in Santa Fe,” said Sean Di Ianni, one of the cofounders of the group, said in 2021. “Today, we have a team of artists and sculptors, graphic designers, lighting and sound artists, people working in augmented and virtual reality, digital artists and programmers, costumers and performers, and all kinds of designers. ”

Just a decade after it was founded, with branches and pop-up installations established across the country, the company brought in more than $ 158 million in revenue and employed 900 staff.

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

In total, King has been involved in at least 34 Meow Wolf projects in recent years. “We will honor Matt’s spirit by bringing his intelligence into our work and into our daily lives, based on the tremendous legacy he leaves behind,” Meow Wolf CEO Jose Tolosa wrote in a statement “Thousands have been deeply touched by the artistic genius of his work, and no one speaks more of Matt’s influence than the Meow Wolf community who come together in his honor.”

Marsi Gray, a senior creative producer at Meow Wolf, expressed that feeling. “Matt, one of the founders of Meow Wolf, has been a very nice, expensive, gorgeous, funny, funny, amazing presence that has been the foundation for the past 4.5 years I have worked at the company,” he said in a statement. “An industrious, very dedicated, and probably the dearest person in our entire company. Our animal spirit. Laughter and play followed him, constantly. I think of Matt and I think of laughter.”

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

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

His contribution to the Santa Fe art scene has touched many, at tributes pouring into social media from those who knows King, but also to those simply touched by his art.

In a interview with Sarah Cascone of Artnet News in October 2021, King mentioned her desire to see people question the nature of truth through Meow Wolf’s immersive artwork. “What we want is for people to leave to walk out asking what the truth is,” he said. “Who am I, and what am I, what can I really do to make a positive difference in the world? We’re not dystopian, that’s not our view. We do not want disaster and sorrow. ”


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