Press Archive

Juxtapoz - February 2016
American Art Collector - Feb 2016
Hi Fructose - January 2016
Tendencias - January 2016
Fine Art Connoisseur - Jan 2016
New York Times - May 16 2014
LA Weekly - May 08 2014
Interview - May 02 2014
BSC News - No 66, Feb 2014
Hi-Fructose - Vol 28, Sep 2013
Artension - July-Aug 2013
Le Monde Magazine - June 2013
Amsterdam Enjoy - June-July, 2012
Artravel No. 44 - March, 2012
La Repubblica XL - March, 2012
Elegy - April/May, 2012
Juxtapoz - December 2011
Laminate 3 - Aug 2011
Meatpaper - Mar 2011
Arte Dossier - Aug 2010
hDL Magazine - Aug 2010
Interview Magazine - May 2010
NYT Style Magazine - April 2010
Milk - April 2010
Tattoo - March 2010
Bizarre Magazine - June 2009
Bliss - September, 2008
200% - No. 3, Summer 2008
The District - July, 2008
Helio Magazine - Fall, 2007
Trace - No. 74, May, 2007
Juxtapoz - May 2007
LA CityBeat - Vol 5, March 15, 2007
dpi - Vol 94, February, 2007
La Repubblica XL - September, 2006
Hi-Fructose - Vol 3, July, 2006
Project - June 2006
Arte - March, 2006
Parteaguas - Spring, 2006
Parteaguas Special Ed. - Spring 2006
Umbigo - No. 16, 2006
Art Prostitute - No. 08, 2006
.ISM - Winter 2005
Creatie - November 2005
LA Weekly - October 17, 2005
The Creator Studio - October, 2005
Pacha Madrid - September, 2005
H - No. 66, September, 2005
Juxtapoz - April 2005
Bant - No. 14, 2005
Venice - April 2005
Flaunt - February 2005
idpure Magazine - January 2005
Versus - January/February 2004
Juxtapoz - Sept/Oct, 2003
Contemporary - No. 52, May, 2003
Elegy - April/May, 2002
Los Angeles Times - April 4, 2003
LA Weekly - April 17, 2003
Gothic & Lolita - February, 2003
Juxtapoz - January/February, 2002
LA Weekly - January 9, 2002
Los Angeles Times - Jan 4, 2002
Cyberzone - No. 15, 2002
New York Art World - Dec, 2001
New York Times - Nov 7, 2001
Oyster - October/November 2001
Black+White - October 2001
TEAR - September, 2001
Pure - Vol One, 2001
Communication Arts - May/June, 2001
Panik Magazine - November, 1998
Juxtapoz - Winter, 1998
Juxtapoz - Spring, 1995

Selected Press




Oyster Magazine
Issue 38, October / November 2001
Monkey Man
By Sophie Pike
"Well, I don't really paint my paintings; a magic monkey does. He comes to my studio late at night, when it's very quiet. Mysterious things happen late at night when most people are asleep. I help the magic monkey, but he does most of the work. Monkey comes tapping at the door, we get the paint and brushes out of the treasure chest and we have a great time making art."
- Mark Ryden, 1998

Earlier this year the walls of The Outre gallery in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne hosted the Californian artist, Mark Ryden's first Australian exhibition, titled Amalgamation. Whilst he worked away with his monkey preparing for his next show in New York, Melbourne patrons were frightened, inspired and even enchanted by the amalgamation of wonder and weirdness in Ryden's paintings.

It wouldn't surprise me if Mark Ryden had magical abilities, if he was in touch with another land, whew monkeys do talk and paint. Unlike many adults, Ryden is able to see the magic in the world, the kind of magic that only the young and innocent see. "If I start to think too much, then it's time for a nap or to build a fort out of blankets with my son. Things have to flow from a place that is more subconscious and uninhabited," he says. His work is submersed in layers of eclectic pop icons, religious emblems, primordial landscapes, alchemical symbols, slabs of meat and mesmerized children. He is creating a kaleidoscopic world that is distinctly his own and it wouldn't surprise me if Miss Alice's Wonderland is just down the road.

Ryden has established himself as both a surrealist pop illustrator and a fine artist. Some of his larger paintings take up to three years to create, so much of his time is spent in his small cluttered studio in Southern California. His studio is a living replication of his work. Mark collects trinkets, toys, statues, saints, skeletons and themes like, medicine, children's storybooks, anatomy and religion. Everything he paints follows its own dreamlike logic. Freakish skeleton puppeteers drive meat trucks, books stare with one eye, dogs wear crowns and one can always find a piece of raw meat.

At a glance Ryden's work appears cute and very pop influenced, but he consciously makes his work a little absurd, lacing it with a nightmarish tone. "I don't intend on my work being nightmarish. When I analyse it I do think that I like images that are more of a balance of the beautiful and the strange. Images that are 100 per cent beautiful bore me. Images that are 100 per cent strange bore me as well. I like the combination of the two." Ryden's desire to distort and tango with life has been with him since childhood. He recalls his primary school teachers questioning why his drawings of dogs had their intestines showing or why his self-portraits had a third eye. He learned to enjoy confusing people and even scaring them. And, years later found his viewers enjoyed it too.

Mark Ryden’s work is collected and treasured around the world by a number influential figures and celebrities. His work is owned by the likes of: Stephen King, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Ringo Starr, X-Files creator Chris Carter, Aerosmith's Steve Tyler and Bridget Fonda Since his first sale in 1994, Mark Ryden has gathered a number of exclusive collectors and has been commissioned to design CD covers for Michael Jackson's Dangerous, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and a recent Rolling Stones cover illustration of Jimi Hendrix. His subject matter may be regarded as strange, but coupled with beautiful imagery and fine detailing this becomes its success. The vision his paintings alludes to is one in which reality is charged with magic. As Ryden creates his dreams on canvas, he should only hope that we take the time to look a little further, laugh a little harder and see something we'd never dreamt of seeing.