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Mark Ryden
Ryden with a young fan at 2007's Tree show
Birth name Mark Ryden
Born January 20, 1963 (1963-01-20) (age 47)
Medford, Oregon
US flag
Field Painter
Training Art Center College of Design
Works The Creatrix
Snow White
The Birth
Clear Heart Grey Flowers

Mark Ryden (b. January 20, 1963 in Medford, Oregon) is an American painter. Mark Ryden is the son of Barbara and Keith Ryden, born in Medford, Oregon but was raised in Southern California, in cities like Escondido. He has two sisters and two brothers, one a fellow artist named Keyth Ryden, (the spelling from Keith was changed in 1969, for reasons relating to numerology and to distinguish himself from his father's first name) who professionally goes by the name KRK Ryden.[citation needed]

Ryden studied Illustration and graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, in 1987. His solo debut show entitled "The Meat Show" was in Pasadena, California in 1998. He currently lives and works in Eagle Rock, California, in a studio that he shares with his wife, artist Marion Peck. He has two children Rosie and Jasper.

At once intriguing and unsettling, baffling and enchanting, Ryden's works are subtle amalgams of many sources and influences as wide-ranging as Psychedelic and Vienna School artists, Neon Park and Ernst Fuchs to classical French formalists Ingres and David.[1] Ryden's work has gained greater prominence within the public domain thanks to so-called lowbrow art publications such as Juxtapoz in which his work features regularly. In fact Ryden has collaborated with other lowbrow artists such as Gary Baseman and Tim Biskup, in addition to composers Stan Ridgway (Wall of Voodoo) and Pietra Wexstun, ( the CD soundtrack to "Blood - Miniature Paintings of Sorrow and Fear") In November 2001 Ryden staged his debut New York exhibition with the Earl McGrath Gallery which then traveled on to the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, CA. He received a B.F.A. in 1987 from Art Center in Pasadena, California. He currently resides in Eagle Rock, California.[2]

Michael Jackson, Dangerous album cover by Mark Ryden

Ryden has designed album covers for musicians including Michael Jackson, Ringo Starr, Jack Off Jill, Scarling, Screaming Trees and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and his paintings are in public and private collections. 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 Pasadena Museum of California Art. Ryden is also a subject of "The Art Army" hand-made action figures by Michael Leavitt.

Ryden's "The Tree Show" exhibit in March 2007 opened to acclaim at the Michael Kohn gallery in Los Angeles -- and featured a selection of oil paintings and sculptures. A separate chamber contained many of Ryden's detailed studies for each of the paintings and exquisitely carved frames and was also made available. The largest of the paintings, "The Tree of Life," sold for $800,000 before the exhibit opened. [3]

Kirk Hammett of the heavy metal band Metallica recently commissioned Mark Ryden to paint one of his guitars. Hammett is pictured holding the guitar on the cover of "Guitar World's April 2009 issue. [4]

In February 7, 2009 Ryden's exhibition "The Snow Yak Show" was shown at the Tomio Koyama Gallery[5] in Tokyo. This show marked a bit of a departure for the artist, whose previously brightly colored palette and rich back rounds were replaced by a more austere, minimal look and staying to a serene palette of white and grey tones. Long Gone John and Jessicka were listed as one of Ryden's muses for the show.[6] [7]


  • The Art of Mark Ryden: Anima Mundi (2001)
  • Bunnies and Bees (2002)
  • Wondertoonel Paintings (2004)
  • Blood Show (2005)
  • Fushigi Circus (2006)
  • The Tree Show (2009)

Book covers


  • Mark Ryden is also credited for 'Tattoo Art' on Aerosmith's Pump


  1. ^ -From the Earl Mcgrath Gallery website.
  2. ^ -From the Earl Mcgrath Gallery website.
  3. ^ "SHOOTING LOW, AIMING HIGH The strange trajectory of Mark Ryden LA WEEKLY March 20, 2007
  4. ^ Guitar World Excerpt February 4th, 2009
  5. ^
  6. ^ " Mark Ryden's "The Snow Yak" show in Tokyo" February 12, 2009
  7. ^ The Snow Yak Show (Mark Ryden) in Tokyo Opening Night February 11, 2009

External links

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