Nov 19, 2010

Mark Ryden: Part II

When i look at Mark Rydens works i fall into some kind of a rabbit hole, dragged by my disquieted imagination. Sinking in the world on the other side of the canvas i see misty landscapes, beautiful wide-eyed creatures that hides a horrible secrets deep inside of their fathomless eyes, slabs of meat, cuddly plush pets, alchemical symbols, religeous emblems, frankinsteined Abraham Lincoln, pop culture heroes, a few famous people, skulls and many other not less macabre things. Even not trying to explain myself what all those symbolism imply my mind starts reading the subconscious meaning of his painings. And i can't get them out of my head. Never.
"Viewers are initially drawn in by the comforting beauty of Ryden’s pop-culture references, then challenged by their circumstances, and finally transported to the artist’s final intent – a world where creatures speak from a place of childlike honesty about the state of mankind and our relationships with ourselves, each other and our past." - from M.Ryden's site bio
The Artist was born in 1963 in Medford, Oregon, but later he moved in Southern California where he studied illustration and graduated from the Art Center Collage of Design of Pasadena in 1987. He first showed his works at the "Side Show" exhibition in 1994 held at the Tamara Bone Gallery, Los Angeles, California. And later in 1998 he exhibited his first solo debut show "The Meat Show" in Pasadena. His talant and craftsmanship have catapulted Ryden beyond his roots and to the attention of museums, critics and serious collectors. Ryden’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, including a recent museum retrospective “Wondertoonel” at the Frye Museum of Art in Seattle and Pasadena Museum of California Art. His "The Tree Show" exhibit in March 2007 at the Michael Kohn Gallery in LA featured oil paintings and sculptures. The largest one named "The Tree Of Life" sold for 800 000 usd before the exhibit opened! My favourite exhibition was held at the Tomio Koyama Gallery in Tokio, it's called "The Snow Yak Show". Also Mark Ryden painted  the guitar for Kirk Hammet of Metallica and designed album art for such artists as Michael Jackson, Ringo Star, Jack of Jill, Scarling, Screaming Trees and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Now he lives and works in Eagle Rock, Ca in the studio shared with his wife, artist Marion Peck and their two children.
I also heard that he has collaborated with Japanese designer/director/artist Nagi Noda on a fashion line called "Broken Label". The clothes are mostly about strange serious-killer chic prints and ad campaign is styled in Ryden's paintings manner. Sounds intriguing. Well, there is a weird story about this collaboration spread in the internet - it's told that right after working with Ryden Nagi Noda died (last September) at the age of 35! Creepy... She is said to have died wearing her Mark Ryden dress, Chanel boots, and "perfect make-up with Viktor & Rolf lace black eye lashes." Guess this is how the extraordinary people pass away..making their last gesture the more artsy that most of human beings can ever imagine.

This is the ad campaign of BROKEN LABEL:

Some of Rydens works:
The Tree of Life
 Pink Lincoln
Manus Christi
Piano Man
 Princess Sputnik
 Sophias Mercurial Waters
 The Grinder
 The Angel of Meat
Virgin and Child
cloven bunny
 The Pumpkin President
 Snow white
 Ghost Girl
The Meat Magician
 Leonardo Di Caprio
 Fur Girl
Girls in a Fur Skirt
Grotto Of The Old Mass
 Inside sue
 Long Yak
Sophias Bubbles

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