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Mark Ryden: The Gay '90s


Little Star, by Mark Ryden. (Oil on Panel, 1997).

Blending themes of pop culture with techniques reminiscent of the old masters, Mark Ryden has created a singular style that blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art. His work first garnered attention in the 1990s when he ushered in a new genre of painting, “Pop ,” dragging a host of followers in his wake. He has trumped the initial surrealist strategies by choosing subject matter loaded with cultural connotation.

Mark Ryden is considered one of the kings of what is known as pop surrealism - an inimitable master of both his craft and his imagination. As a painter, Ryden’s aesthetic draws on many classical and traditional sources from Ingres, David and other French classicists to Little Golden Books. Ryden also draws his inspiration from anything that will evoke mystery; old toys, anatomical models, stuffed animals, skeletons and religious ephemera found in flea markets.

Jasper Ridin’ (detail), by Mark Ryden (oil on canvas, 1994).

Mark Ryden
Nicoletta Ceccoli
Annie Owens
Gary Baseman
Camilla D' Errico
Nicoletta Ceccoli
Greg Craola Si...
Gustav Klimt
Matt Dukes Jordan
Tobias Natter
Evan Pricco
Aaron Rosen
Stefan Fischer
White Stag
3dtotal Publis...
Gilles Nret

john1976boy: mark ryden………..mask 2

Mark, like most artists, understands that by revisiting the roots of dysfunction and suffering, we abandon the memories that create our emotional barriers. Federico Fellini said there is only the infinite passion of life and Mark Ryden truly embraces his infinite passions in his art.

I also brought along my Mark Ryden December 1, 2011, 110 page, gold trim pages with soft faux leather blood color cover edition of “Blood: Paintings of Sorrow and Fear.” It’s larger than the previous edition and contains 16 additional pages. Mark provides his readers an explanation and apology for his outwardly morbid theme confessing it reflected his innermost feelings during a particularly vulnerable depressing period in his life. He was exploring feelings of grief, trauma and loss.