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Editor's Picks: Rediscovering Martin Wong’s Playful Vignettes

Martin Wong, Footprints, Poems, and Leaves and Das Puke Book

We have to thank Primary Information for publishing facsimiles of these two wonders. Made before Wong moved to New York and established himself as the city’s iconic painter of brownstones, Footprints and Das Puke Book presaged the subject matter that would populate the artist’s canvases.

Das Puke Book contains weird-o vignettes of the type that could be found in fellow San Franciscan Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America (1967), but with the playful, filthy abjection of Jean Genet’s Our Lady of the Flowers (1943) – all written with an early version of the vigorous script that would define his paintings.