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Mark Ryden's Fushigi Circus - FIRST EDITION
A collection of the works of Mark Ryden. Features new works, including Blood, Sweat, Tears,
and The Creatrix. A survey of 55 of Ryden's most impressive works from past shows to the present.
Published by PIE Books of Japan.
Mark Ryden came to preeminence in the 1990s during a time when many artists, critics and
collectors were quietly championing a return to the art of painting. With his masterful
technique and disquieting content, Ryden quickly became one of the leaders of this movement on the West Coast.
Upon first glance Ryden's work seems to mirror the Surrealists' fascination with the subconscious
and collective memories. However, Ryden transcends the initial Surrealists' strategies by consciously
choosing subject matter loaded with cultural connotation. His dewy vixens, cuddly plush pets,
alchemical symbols, religious emblems, primordial landscapes and slabs of meat challenge his
audience not necessarily with their own oddity but with the introduction of their soothing cultural
familiarity into unsettling circumstances. Viewers are initially drawn in by the comforting beauty
of Ryden's pop-culture references, then challenged by their circumstances, and finally transported
to the artist's final intent -- a world where creatures speak from a place of childlike honesty
about the state of mankind and our relationships with ourselves, each other and our past.
Clearly infused with classical references, Ryden's work is not only inspired by recent history,
but also the works of past masters. He counts among his influences Bosch, Bruegel and Ingres
with generous nods to Bouguereau and Italian and Spanish religious painting. Over the past
decade, this marriage of accessibility, craftsmanship and technique with social relevance,
emotional resonance and cultural reference has catapulted Ryden beyond his roots and to
the attention of museums, critics and serious collectors. Ryden's work has been exhibited
in museums and galleries worldwide, including a recent museum retrospective "Wondertoonel"
at the Frye Museum of Art in Seattle and the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
Mark Ryden was born in Medford Oregon. He received a BFA in 1987 from Art Center College
of Design in Pasadena. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles where he paints slowly
and happily amidst his countless collections of trinkets, statues, skeletons, books,
paintings and antique toys.
Hardcover, cloth-bound, color.

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