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Mark Ryden

Autor(a) de Fushigi Circus

23+ Works 486 Membros 5 Críticas 2 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Mark Ryden and Marion Peck

Obras por Mark Ryden

Associated Works

Pop Surrealism: The Rise Of Underground Art (2004) — Ilustrador, algumas edições114 exemplares, 2 críticas
Rue Morgue Magazine #38 | March/April 2004 (2004) — Ilustrador — 5 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum




A collection of the works of Mark Ryden. Features works prior to the Tree Show, including Blood, Sweat, Tears, and The Creatrix. A survey of 55 of Ryden s most impressive works from past shows to the present. A gem of a book, presented in a beautiful hardcover, clothbound format. Text in Japanese.
petervanbeveren | Mar 29, 2024 |
Mark Ryden’s paintings feed directly into the part of my psyche that loves nightmarish beauty without consequence, the surrealist nature of dark dreams. There is a catharsis for me when I view most of Ryden’s paintings. My interest in extremity leads me into some dark places – my love for Peter Sotos is an excellent example. But sometimes the impact of horror is hard to stomach. Not so with Ryden’s paintings.

Sometimes his subjects show sadness, such as the girl on the cover of this book. She is weeping blood and looks very somber. But even when his paintings, typically pictures of little girls, encounter the frightening, the gory, the miserably surreal, they seldom show fear. At worst the girls show morbid curiosity, maybe some trepidation, but there is no fear in Ryden’s work. The introduction to this book describes these paintings as showing a loss of innocence and that may be true. But if there is a loss of innocence, it is one that is expected, one that is not miserable to those losing their innocence because the children maintain their wide-eyed beauty even as they are confronted with the dreadful and disgusting. I can look upon lovely, big-eyed children covered in blood or encountering slabs of bloody meat and enjoy them for the absolute beauty in the image, for Ryden’s paintings are always lovely. They are always sumptuous, in colors that are so vivid that they almost evoke the sense of taste for me. This is interesting to me because even though much of Ryden’s work is associated with blood and meat, the bright pinks and various pastels evoke old fashioned, boiled-sugar candy. Taffy. Cotton candy. Not fetid, iron stink of meat. For whatever reason, I don’t experience the loss of innocence the way that I suspect others do when I look at Ryden’s work. (You see the intense use of pastels most especially in Ryden’s The Meat Show collection.)

Blood is a tiny book, a fitting size because the paintings are all miniatures, and I selected it to discuss during my Halloween post-a-thon because this book contains an explanation for why Ryden engages in such morbidity, almost a defensive apology for what makes him tick and his explanations, in the introduction as well as a quote later in the book, show in action one of the warnings I often give writers: once you create, the creation is out of your hands and you have no control over what your work will mean to others. By his own words, Ryden would likely find my inability to find his works alarming, especially those in Blood, somewhat alarming itself. Ryden says:

Blood is very powerful. While meat is the substance that keeps our living souls in this physical reality, blood keeps our meat alive. Blood is liquid life. When blood escapes our bodies we are alarmed to the very core of our brains. It is life leaking out of us. It is frightening and makes red a profoundly intense color.

It is here that I think shows the chasm between Ryden’s intent and my experience with his work. If blood is liquid life, seeing children interacting with blood is alarming but it is also a transformative experience. But girls are used to blood in a way boys aren’t. We literally see our blood escaping our body several days each month. It’s less a loss of innocence than a symbol of coming-of-age. There are biblical instructions about the corruptibility and disgusting nature of menstrual blood but for many women seeing blood outside the body is not alarming and when it happens it is simply a sign of growing up. Perhaps this is why I am not appalled by the loss of innocence seen in the paintings in this collection. Blood is liquid life, but in some respects blood is a liquid proving-ground, a symbol of a trial endured, of obtaining a certain type of wisdom. Sometimes the wisdom that comes from corruption is more valuable than white, unblemished inexperience.

You can read my entire discussion here: http://www.oddthingsconsidered.com/blood-by-mark-ryden/
… (mais)
oddbooks | 1 outra crítica | Oct 13, 2015 |
I can’t help it … even when I don’t like Mark Ryden, I love Mark Ryden. That is, even when I don’t like him as much. I miss the riotous circus of his previous work. Yet, it’s okay. All of his early work is still there, in book form, for me to turn back to whenever the mood strikes me, so I accept the evolution of his style to a new simplicity. It is certainly a pleasure to follow him wherever he goes.

Ryden has explored quite a few moods in recent years. From his macabre Blood Show, with children bleeding from their eyes, to the seeming environmentalist-activist Tree Show and now to the zen harmony of The Snow Yak Show. This new series finds him with a pared down color palette and scenic structure. All whites and creams and pale greys and hints of blue and rose. And in almost all the paintings in this series, the scenes are focused on only one or two characters with many of the backgrounds nearly abstracted, which is quite unusual given his compulsive detailing of tableaux in the past.

The tone in The Snow Yak Show is almost entirely peaceful. Most of the paintings find toy-like shaggy yaks (each yak looking quite different in nature to the others) forming friendships with young girls who are far too centered and knowing to be real girls, rather they are spirits (one painting entitled Sophia’s Bubbles, gives us a clue that the girls may represent “wisdom” as Sophia is an ancient Greek word used throughout Greek philosophy and Christian mysticism to represent God’s wisdom). Admittedly, I do get a little uncomfortable with the nudity of young girls that Ryden often paints, however, fortunately, the girls do not seem sexualized so much as representations of the feminine spirit, and they are painted rather reverentially and with power.

Every Ryden painting has a glow and a resonance to it, a mythic quality that points to mysteries one can never quite identify. There is always a beauty in his work, and that beauty to me goes beyond his vivid detail; it is the beauty created by triggering a deep sense of imagination in the viewer. I know his paintings inspire me creatively.

Perhaps it was because of the limited content of the scenes in these paintings, but I was left with a little bit of cotton candy in my mouth compared to Ryden’s last show, which I reviewed here. I had a less visceral reaction to this work than I did to The Tree Show. Even so, Ryden’s work stands head and shoulders above most contemporary artists. A true master.

From The Snow Yak Show:

… (mais)
David_David_Katzman | Nov 26, 2013 |
Gothic caricatures of human feeling in a form similar to Catholic altarpieces and holy cards. Taken from the touring Mark Ryden exhibition.
sacredheart25 | 1 outra crítica | Jul 13, 2010 |

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