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About this Art
Traverse Mark Ryden's vast wintry landscapes into the frigid domain of the majestic Snow Yak. Images from Ryden's acclaimed Japanese Snow Yak Show are reproduced in large 11" x 14" format, and include many detail images and drawings. In this set of work, Ryden paints with a pallet of subtle whites and greys to create mysterious scenes of soft snow, clouds, and fur. The inhabitants of this wintry world are bare angelic figures and their companion woolly snow yaks. The works were originally shown at the prestigious Tomio Koyama Gallery in Tokyo in February 2009. This book features all of the works, as well as photographs of the work on display and of Ryden's trip through Japan. Mark Ryden came to preeminence in the 1990s. With his masterful technique and disquieting content, he became a leader in the revitalization of painting, combining accessibility, craftsmanship and technique with socio-cultural relevance and emotional resonance. His work has been exhibited in museums and finer galleries worldwide.
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 Surrealism", dragging a host of followers in his wake. Ryden has trumped the initial surrealist strategies by choosing subject matter loaded with cultural connotation.
Ryden’s vocabulary ranges from cryptic to cute, treading a fine line between nostalgic cliché and disturbing archetype. Seduced by his infinitely detailed and meticulously glazed surfaces, the viewer is confronted with the juxtaposition of the childhood innocence and the mysterious recesses of the soul. A subtle disquiet inhabits his paintings; the work is achingly beautiful as it hints at darker psychic stuff beneath the surface of cultural kitsch. In Ryden's world cherubic girls rub elbows with strange and mysterious figures. Ornately carved frames lend the paintings a baroque exuberance that adds gravity to their enigmatic themes.
Mark Ryden received a BFA in 1987 from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. His paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, including a retrospective “Wondertoonel” at the Frye Museum of Art in Seattle and Pasadena Museum of California Art, and in the exhibition "The Artist's Museum" at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
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