Home Interior Design How Meow Wolf turned into an unlikely artistic juggernaut

How Meow Wolf turned into an unlikely artistic juggernaut

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The origins of the company are legendary. A group of scrappy Santa Fe artists with a penchant for building fantastical installations out of piles of junk each write random words on scraps of paper. They pull two out of a hat, so baptizing himself Meow Wolf. It was 15 years ago.

This weekend marks the opening of the fourth permanent Meow Wolf exhibit, located at the Grapevine Mills mall outside of Dallas, Texas. Featuring a story crafted by Wisconsin science fiction and fantasy author LaShawn Wanak and the work of 30 Texas-based artists who collaborated with the in-house artist team, “The True Unreal,” as the exhibition is titled, transforms a former Bed Bath and Beyond into a vast artistic playground.

Like the House of Eternal Return, Meow Wolf’s first permanent location, the new exhibit appears to begin in the real world, in an ordinary suburban home, but the mundane trappings of family life quickly give way to the strange and unfamiliar, the lines between reality and fantasy blurring and disappearing.

Since opening 2016 in Santa Fe, Meow Wolf has amassed a devoted following for its interactive and immersive exhibitions, who use art to open portals to unknown realms. Obsessive fans have taken to Reddit to unlock all the secrets of the Meow Wolf universe. The Real Unreal is the company’s first step to connecting the disparate sites and their interdimensional narratives in a more obvious way.

And while you may not have heard of Meow Wolf yet, the company is poised for even more explosive growth. Under CEO Jose Tolosa, who came over from Viacom in 2022, the punk art collective turned arts and entertainment production company intends to bring its spectacular artistic vision to a city near home. you and to create new ways for you to engage with its unique, supernatural story from the comfort of your own home. What started as a crazy art house, fueled by creator culture, has fallen into a business model that is poised to become an entertainment juggernaut.

Ahead of the public opening in Grapevine, Artnet News Editor-in-Chief Sarah Cascone spoke with Tolosa not only about the company’s epic and global ambitions, but also the need to stay true to its roots. So forget the metaverse, the hand-crafted, high-tech universe of Meow Wolf is about to blow your mind.

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