Creative Cauldron - Mark Ryden

Monday, June 04, 2012

Artist inspiration and artist influences. No biographies, dates or scholarly research here -  this is a personal response to the work of Mark Ryden by Australian artist Fiona Morgan.

Mark Ryden painting - Jessicas Hope
Jessicas Hope
It is said that at times, Mark Ryden paints with a magnifying glass. You can certainly see the fineness of detail in his paintings. They are masterfully polished. While I do not aspire to be this obsessive over detail, I certainly admire the results and the discipline it takes to do this.

Mark Ryden painting - Fur Girl
Fur Girl
While there are many fans of classical painting techniques, it seems to me that most of these people are recreating old style paintings as well. Part of what I like about Mark Ryden's work is his blending of time proven and masterfully accomplished classical painting technique with a very modern outlook. What century are we in anyway?

Mark Ryden painting - Incarnation
Like Joe Sorren, Mark Ryden's work is considered to be pop surrealism. It's full of contemporary cultural references. To say it's imaginative is an understatement. It's quirky and surreal. It's full of juxtapostitions. There's often a heavy dose of nostalgia and innocence.
Mark Ryden painting - Bjork

Mark Ryden painting - Little Boy Blue
Little Boy Blue
The bit that I enjoy the most is the way his work references archetypes and myths (a bit of a recurring theme in the art I enjoy).

Mark Ryden painting - Santa Worm
Santa Worm
The paintings themselves are beautiful. Full of subtle colour, soft lighting and idealised rendering. He seems to work in themes. Each painting in a show is very strongly linked to all the others and each show is quite distinct to every other show.

Mark Ryden painting - Tears
Although I haven't been to one of his shows, from what I can tell he (or whoever handles his publicity) is masterful at creating hype and getting fans to queue around the block for hours for the privilege of viewing the drama - almost theatre - of one of these tightly themed and immaculately presented shows. It's quite incredible.

Mark Ryden painting - Yoshi

More Mark Ryden links

official site:

About the Creative Cauldron series of posts

Creative Cauldron - artistic influences & inspiration for Australian artist Fiona MorganThe Creative Cauldron series of posts explores and showcases the visual styles, techniques, attitudes, ideas, artists and paintings that have had the most impact on me. 

The rest of the series is accessible via the Creative Cauldron page. Have a meander if you please, and remember to check out my artworks on Flickr, and have an insider peek at life as an artist on Facebook.

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