Kim Jung Gi, an acclaimed South Korean artist, died at age 47 on Monday night in Paris from a heart attack, the Daniel Maghen art gallery announced Wednesday.
The renowned cartoonist was traveling from Paris to New York when he began suffering from chest pains, according to a post on Kim’s instagram. He was taken to a nearby hospital for surgery but died there.
What was Kim Jung Gi known for?
According to the Los Angeles Times, Kim was known for his intricate illustration work and remarkable ability to sketch from memory — Kim never used references. In 2018 interview, he told Visual Atelier 8 that for complex pieces he has “about 60% of the image in my head ... and then I improvise the rest.”
Also known for his unmatched speed, Kim could rapidly produce elaborate artwork that would take most artist months to complete, according to CNN. He holds the Guinness World Record for the longest drawing by an individual.
Kim’s most recognized artwork is from his contributions to graphic novels, as well as Marvel and DC Comics. Jim Lee, the chief creative officer at DC Comics, said in a tweet that Kim “was a truly phenomenal talent whose pen and brush wizardry captivated and inspired millions of fans around the world.”
What were Kim Jung Gi’s live art sessions?
Kimi began teaching lectures at private schools and universities but slowed down in about 2018 because of “tight schedules,” he told Visual Atelier 8.
Instead, Kim performed live art sessions. The sessions could carry on for hours and he sketched intricate pieces. His performances spread in popularity and he drew before audiences in the United States, France and Asia. Throughout the sessions, Kim would share artistic insights, techniques and details about his process.
Kim also taught online classes classes that are still available on YouTube, such as “How to become a master” and “What kind of pen do you use?”
What did Kim Jung Gi draw?
Kim has a wide range of subjects in his artwork — he depicted everything from superheroes to cityscapes. He was often criticized for putting nudity and other graphic depictions in his work.
Many of Kim’s pieces are posted to his Twitter account. Here are some worth looking at.