Sunday, May 23, 2010


Mark Ryden paints weird and enchanting scenes from imaginary, symbol-laden worlds where dreams rule, logic is upended, and pop artifacts vie with archetypes for your short attention span. Enough artspeak. In layman's terms, Ryden is a good painter who sells his paintings for astronomical amounts of money. (One painting from "Tree Show" sold for $800,000 before the exhibit opened.) Ryden's well-rendered, old fashioned illustrative work has been labeled (by others) as Low Brow, Pop Surrealism, Neo-Baroque, and Craptastic Dream Clusters from Planet Zeon. Who cares what they call it--the work speaks for itself.

Mark Ryden, American Artist

In the clip above, Ryden paints the Great Emancipator for "The Gay 90's - Olde Tyme Art show," a current exhibition at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York City. The Intro is from Disney's "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln," and the "Abraham" song is by that old crooner of pop surrealism himself, Bing Crosby, from the movie "Holiday Inn" 1942.

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