You might not remember his name, but I am sure that maybe you have one of his artwork at home…How many of you have a copy of Michael Jackson’s famous CD “Dangerous”? I still get enchanted when I look at it , stareing at all the minimum details, a little creepy too, and i feel this way every time I look at his art.
Dangerous – 1991
Mark Ryden is an american artist born in 1963, leader of the pop-surrealism movement. He gets his inspiration from the milion object of every kind that he collects and keeps really jealously (toys, pendants, books, statues, old posters) .
His pieces are an apparently -non-logical mix of drawings recalling kids illustrations from americans pop culture (especially Margaret Keane’s), and obscure settings from Carroll’s Wonderland, enriched with macabre details and symbolism. Row meat, President Lincoln, big eyed girls and Jesus are some of the protagonists of his paintings. Dark sided details of our existance are hidden under a cover of kitch culture, and become real “obsessions”.
Thanks to two friends who love Ryden, we got to go to his last exhition “The Gay 90s: West ”, second part of the New York exhibition of 2010. In the 20s people were calling the late years of 1800 by the name “Gay 90s”, symbol of an age of no world wars and a less chaotic and genuine life. Most of the population lived in the countryside and not in big towns.
People didn’t have much to worry about, it was the era of lightness, big wheeled bicycles, cilinder hats, and beautiful embroided dresses for women. His love and nostalgy for the Victorian age inspired him for this solo exhibition , in which drawings and porcelains reflect an enchanted world between dream and reality.
“My art is trying to get access the kingdom of dreams. That mysrerious world between conscious and unconscious. This is where the souls meet fantasy and creativity, and where they get connected to other worlds.” M. Ryden
To see this beauty in action: Memory Lane Video
999 viniles were produced for charity at 99,99$. Many big artists joined the project. Katy Perry, Nick Cave, Kirk Ammett and others perform the song “Daisy Bell(Bicycle Built for Two)”, written in 1892 and then made popular by the movie 2001. A Space Odyssey.