Mark childlike faces with a similar shape. The

Mark Ryden has remained a favorite of mine for at least fourteen years. His use of color and combining playful, childlike innocence with some occasional darker elements caught my attention immediately. When asked to create a montage of an artist I admired, I knew immediately who to choose and whose work I wanted to share with everyone.His career started in 1988 as a commercial artist. Some of his work has been featured on album and book covers for bands such as Aerosmith and authors like Stephen King. He didn’t have a solo debut until 1998, with “The Meat Show”. Many of his works feature meat, and his explanation for this is his observation of our culture’s disconnection between the meat we eat and the animal it comes from. In general, he draws inspiration from many of the random items collected in his studio. He and his wife, fellow artist Marion Peck, reside in Los Angeles, California. The first time I saw Mark Ryden’s work was online. It was a painting called “Rose”. The painting featured a raven-haired, green eyed, innocent faced girl crying blood. I was immediately attracted to the painting and sought to know more. This lead to finding my favorite painting, “Night Visit”. The more paintings I found, the more I wanted to keep searching. I suppose the reason for my attraction to his work was because of the whimsical nature that childhood should represent. The attraction to the images in his “Blood” gallery, to me, represented a loss of innocence, which was something my childhood self could relate to. The choice of photos used in the montage were some that caught my eye, including my first and my favorite. Each one features an almost angelic face, some offset by darker themes. The collage becomes unified by the repetition of the faces. Many of his paintings include childlike faces with a similar shape. The only face without a similar shape is his “snow yak”, which still holds unity in it’s innocence. Lastly, each one creates unity through repetition of color. All of them make tremendous use of pink, which is my favorite color. Being able to share this artist is an exciting opportunity. Showcasing his work in this new way was an interesting exercise. Perhaps it will spark an interest for someone else who views it as well. 

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