Famous comic book artist and illustrator Kim Jung Gi suddenly died on October 3 from heart failure just before he was to board a plane in Paris bound for New York.
The 47-year-old South Korean artist experienced severe chest pains at the airport, and he was rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery, where he later died, according to a post on his Twitter account.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we inform you of the sudden passing of Kim Jung Gi. After finishing his last schedule in Europe, Jung Gi went to the airport to fly to New York, where he experienced chest pains and was taken to a nearby hospital for surgery, but sadly passed away,” according to the post.
“After having done so much for us, you can now put down your brushes,” wrote his collaborator, Hyun Jin Kim.
— Kim Jung Gi US (@KimJungGiUS) October 5, 2022
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Kim was known for his exceptional ability to draw intricate illustrations entirely from memory, with no references whatsoever, on large canvases with his trusty brush pen. The talented craftsman — who also contributed artwork to graphic novels, as well as Marvel and DC comics — held the Guinness World Record for longest drawing by an individual.
“His sudden disappearance contrasts with the immense happiness he brought us,” read a statement from the Maghen gallery in Paris, where an exhibition of Kim’s work is on display.
“We are speechless. Daniel Maghen, the entire gallery team, and particularly Olivier Souillé, who had accompanied him for ten years, are terribly affected by his loss. All our thoughts are turned to his family, his wife and his two children, his friends, his collaborators Kim Hyun Jin, Boin Lee, Jean-Christophe Caurette… and his fans, for whom his disappearance will leave a great void.”
At the request of Kim’s family, his exhibition at the Maghen gallery will continue in the artist’s memory until Saturday.