FASCINATING NY TIMES’ REPORT ON DEATH OF “MAN WHO PAINTED MAO”

The recently passed Chinese artist Wang Guodong is not well-known name in the art world. For decades and practically the entirety of his active years as a painter, it was virtually unknown in China. But his paintings, according a fascinating New York Times obituary, rivals Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” as one of the most recognizable images in the world. What Guodong painted was the official state portrait of modern China’s communist founder, Mao Zedong, a.k.a., Chairman Mao. His painting hung prominently like visual propaganda throughout every corner of China. It’s most prominent place of display was above the Gate of Heavenly Peace at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The painting is iconic. According to the Time’s obit the picture has been called by an art historian as “the most important painting in China.” Guodong was 88 when he died this past Friday.