Mark Ryden - The Piano Player

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Mark Ryden

Los Angeles, California

A native of Medford, Oregon, Mark Ryden was trained in the fine arts at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.  He currently runs an extremely successful studio out of Los Angeles and boasts an extensive collection of “trinkets, statues, skeletons, books, paintings and antique toys.” With a subject pool that draws heavily (and purposefully) on the concept of discomfort and the viewer’s cultural assimilation within that discomfort, Mark’s paintings are often beautifully disturbing and culturally awkward while maintaining their technical excellence.  Drawn from the Mark Ryden website, this quote sums it up rather nicely: “His dewy vixens, cuddly plush pets, alchemical symbols, religious emblems, primordial landscapes and slabs of meat challenge his audience not necessarily with their own oddity but with the introduction of their soothing cultural familiarity into unsettling circumstances.”

Mark continues to push the envelope with honest and brash imagery that is softly exposed to counteract the rawness of his subject matter.  His work has been widely celebrated with  features in multiple exhibitions over the past years, including features in cultural institutions such as the Paul Kasmin Gallery (New York, NY), the Tomjo Koyama Gallery (Tokyo, Japan), the Michael Kohn Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), and the Frye Art Museum (Seattle, WA).

For those of our audience with limited access to these resources, make sure to check out the remainder of Mark’s painting and sketch portfolios on his website, Twitter, and/or Facebook feeds.  We see great things in the past and future of this fantastic artist, so make sure to stay abreast of his current activity and we’ll do the same!

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