Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mark Ryden, New Favorite

I stumbled upon this L.A. artist at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in Chelsea. I was still thinking about this show after two days and went back to visit it again.

"In his hauntingly beautiful and masterfully executed oil paintings, Ryden creates his own contemporary mythologies whose archetypes include fairy tale creatures, historical figures, and pop cultural icons. Seamlessly juxtaposing macabre motifs like meat grinders and disembodied presidents with eye-pleasing ingénues and seductive landscapes, the artist produces a vision of society in which menace and comfort are inseparably interwoven. These labor-intensive canvasses deftly rework centuries of art history, combining the grandeur of Spanish and Italian religious painting with the decorative richness of Old Master compositions and the lush textures of French Neo-Classicism. " -press release

This is a close up of a larger painting (the blurry dark spot is due to my camera); all the pieces in this show were fairly large. They were equally as riveting close up, as from a distance. The gallery's main room featured new paintings, and a second room displayed sketches and roughly colored thumbnails. The sketches were very thoughtful, deliberate wonders- love, LOVE this show.
The sketches, the paintings, not to mention the frames were captivating. Apparently the artist has a cult following- I can get that. Maybe I'll be joining it.
But seriously- the frames were ridiculously, phenomenally, out of this world, BAD ASS.

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