Compulsion, 1985

Miami Beach 2017
acrylic on canvas
350.5 x 121.9 Size (cm)
138.0 x 48.0 Size (in)
In Compulsion, 1984-85, an 11-foot tall acrylic painting that epitomizes Wong’s downtown scenes, a night sky filled with constellations is glimpsed through a cavern of red-brick, windowless tenements. A chain-link fence cuts across the lower-third of the canvas revealing a shadowy figure smoking a cigarette with his back turned to the viewer. Across the sky atop the canvas, finely articulated, gold-edged hand signs, as well as Spanish translations, poetically yet illusively describe the scene below: “Sergio smoked a cigarette while thinking of everything that happened two nights ago.”