Essay on Mark Ryden- Contemporary Artist.

841 Words Aug 31st, 2006 4 Pages
Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden was born in Medford Oregon. He received a BFA in 1987 from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. His studio, situated in Los Angeles, is a treasure trove of bric-a-brac collected from flea-markets and op shops; endless amounts of toys, religious statues, dolls, antiques and many items described only as obscure (including skeletons and anatomical figures) are his models, arranged to be painted and recorded by the artist. Ryden also gains his inspiration, not only from art galleries but from various museums. These include medical museums (e.g. The Museo la Specola) and museums of natural history. This combination of medical wax figures of the body and organs along with the study of creatures and animals helped
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They may be border in thick, Reich frames, and always have a smooth, finished quality to them. Many of his works pay homage to the great artists such as Bosch and Ingres, or the little girls in his works can struck a haunting connection to the nymphs painted by classicist artists. It is this connection to history which again reflects a person's comfort with the known and familiar, and turns it into something confronting by pulling it from its original context.

Common presence of Religious icons brings a whole new meaning to each painting as the watchful eyes of a Roman-classicist image of Jesus observe the image and the audience, indicating a judgment on moral conduct or a reflection on people's own actions. Ryden's works are often a social commentary (rather than attack or opinion) presented through the curious children's world, which is both dreamlike and nightmarish.

His works are a challenge to modern and ‘mature' thinking; when humanity used to connect through myths and legends, now they believe through logic and fact. Unlike much of today's contemporary art, Ryden's work is easily accessible for the audience by the familiar symbols of toys and religious icons, contextualized into a surrealist and dreamlike world. The difference, however, is that Ryden consciously makes the decisions of what is to be part of his artwork.
Another, of the more curious symbols in Ryden's work, is meat. Internal organs,
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