This wonderful man, an artist who combatted racial barriers, was the oldest living graduate of Otis Art Institute here in Los Angeles. His work was the inspiration for Disney's BAMBI, and someone whom I was honored to know in the last decade+ of his long and creative, courageous life
I was turning onto the PCH on this rainy/cloudy day and knew I had to stop at the beach where Tyrus, the subject of a longterm photo project made possible only by the gracious acceptance of me and my camera by Tyrus and his wonderful family, brought his handmade kites for over 40 years to fly. I last captured him there last summer even at the grand age of 105.
Today, though overcast, the sky looked like one of Tyrus' beautiful paintings. The wind which Tyrus would have so appreciated seemed to be whisking him away to another place.
His family told me that my photograph of Tyrus in a deep fog on a New Years Eve Day some years ago, only one day from now, was one they placed at the foot of his bed and he continued to comment on it for its loveliness.
I am so honored to have known and learned from him. RIP, Tyrus Wong.
The New York Times published news of Tyrus' death on their front page with a beautiful inside obit. the Times requested my photograph of Tyrus mentioned above for their article.