Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Art of Tyrus Wong in the 'The Mouse Castle Lounge'

Tyrus Wong. Photo by
Sara Boyers
I'm back in The Mouse Castle Lounge with a terrific episode celebrating the life and art of Chinese-American artist Tyrus Wong. Wong is best known to Disney fans for his exquisite design artwork for Bambi, but his life has been so much more than that. In the 1930s, he was part of the Orientalist art movement that meshed traditional Asian styles of painting with modern Western techniques. For over 25 years, he was a pre-production artist for Warner Bros., contributing to the design and look of films ranging from Rebel Without a Cause to Auntie Mame to The Wild Bunch. At 102 years old, he's still producing art, most notably beautiful and ornate kites that he flies on the beach at Santa Monica once a month.

The Walt Disney Family Museum is showing a retrospective of his work now through February 3, 2014. Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong features over 150 paintings, sculptures and sketches from Wong's prolific and masterful career. Last month, I attended the opening of the exhibit and not only was able to sit down and speak with Mr. Wong himself, I also chatted with exhibit curator Michael Labrie, Pixar director and animator Pete Docter, historian J. B. Kaufman and Disney artist (and the voice of Donald Duck) Tony Anselmo. It was a memorable evening that made for a fantastic visit to The Mouse Castle Lounge. Enjoy!

Bambi concept art by Tyrus Wong.
The Mouse Castle Lounge can also be heard on iTunes and Stitcher.

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