DENVER (KDVR) — Matt King, the co-founder of Meow Wolf, has died at the age of 37. News of his sudden passing is sending shockwaves through the creative community. King spearheaded the interactive art installations in Santa Fe, Las Vegas and Denver. The building is hard to miss from Interstate 25 as the legendary bright letters of Meow Wolf glow at night. Tributes have been pouring out online as people react to his death.
Erin Barnes, with Meow Wolf, said it would not have been possible without King and his artistry and creative vision.
“Joy is one of the top words that people use to describe him,” Barnes said. “There was laughter everywhere he went.”
Matt King a ‘large-than-life artist’
King was a man on a mission to change the world through art, which is something he certainly accomplished at 37 years old. King passed away on Saturday, July 9, and his death was released to the public on Tuesday. The details of his death have been withheld, only sharing that it was sudden. The news left the community shocked and stunned.
“He was a very larger-than-life artist,” Barnes said. “To say that it’s a loss for Meow Wolf is an understatement. It’s a loss for Meow Wolf. It’s a loss for the world, because I think that he really changed how people look at art.”
Described as a true visionary, King’s creative mind is behind the creation of Meow Wolf Denver. The art exhibition is an immersive experience of light, visuals and sound. Trippy, psychedelic, brilliant, beautiful, and unique are some of the words people use to describe the mind-bending art. Many find it hard to put into words and that’s part of the appeal as millions visit to experience it.
Denver’s location, called Convergence Station, takes onlookers to another world. Barnes shares with FOX31 that she’s devastated by the loss and so are all employees who worked closely with King. She said that some of King’s masterpieces include The Cathedral and Wormhole.
“In light of the fact that he’s left this Earth, it’s actually kind of beautiful and poetic to be around and admire it,” Barnes said. “It gives me chills.”
Meow Wolf Denver opened in September of 2021 and just last month it celebrated 1 million visitors. Exhibits are open to the public; however internal operations have stopped this week for employees to grieve. However, Barnes and others are taking solace in being surrounded by his art, which will last a lifetime.
Meow Wolf is rapidly expanding with three locations already. Two more are planned to open in Texas in 2023 and 2024. Barnes said those are still on schedule to open and artists will now be creating in King’s honor.