Monday Muse: Mark Ryden

I thought that the weekend in the snow would inspire me to get a head start on my blog posts, but instead I watched four Harry Potter movies, three romantic comedies, and one season of Parks and Recreation. So I almost missed my Monday Muse post!

When I was a senior in high school my best friend gave me a Hi-Fructose magazine and the featured artist in that issue was Mark Ryden. I had never seen imagery this utterly weird and unsettling and I fell totally and completely in love. 

I have been really influenced by the Pop-Surrealism movement and I am incredibly thankful for the work of artists like Mark Ryden, Marion Peck, Nicoletta Ceccoli, and Ray Caesar for pioneering the movement with work that features dream-like atmospheres, big eyed girls, and pop culture symbols. 

Ryden's work repurposes cultural and religious symbols to form new meaning in his meticulously painted candy-colored compositions. The dark and mysterious subject matter is juxtaposed by pastel color schemes.

Abraham Lincoln is a favorite subject of Ryden's as well as honey bees, raw meat, and madonnas. While Ryden is not as big an influence on me now as he was during my time in college, viewing his work is still thought provoking and I appreciate his expert use of pop-culture symbols in his work. 

View more of Mark Ryden's work on his website, and make sure to view the amazing video of him creating Incarnation (featured above)