World renowned artist and illustrator, Mark Ryden, was born on January 20th, 1963 in Medford, Oregon. He grew up in Southern California and now creates his art in Sierra Madre, California, at a private studio, and calling his home in Eagle Rock, California with his two children, Jasper and Rosie Ryden. He attended the Art Center in Pasadena, California where he received a B.F.A. in 1987.
Ryden has been said to be the new big thing in the "lowbrow art" scene. Lowbrow art has picked up roots from classic cartoons, to 1960s sitcoms, pulp art, Japanese anime and many other influences. The second best-selling art magazine in the U.S., Juxtapoz magazine, has featured Mark Ryden many times, and has labeled him "Overachiever Extraordinare" in 1998. Since that period of time, his paintings have been sold for well over $10,000 to $60,000 a piece. Mark has also designed album covers for various musicians including: Scarling, Ringo Starr, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Butthole Surfers, Jack Off Jill, and Michael Jackson.
His fame is quickly rising within the goth culture; purses, and books have been sold on ebay and on his website to teens and young adults around the world with quite an expensive price tag. His work combines a super-cute cartoon quality, where the children in the paintings look like doe-eyed dolls. Ryden has said himself that his artistic inspiration is drawn from the treasures he finds while browsing the flea market. He buys old photographs, books, toys, anatomical models, stuffed animals, skeletons, religious paraphernalia and vintage paper ephemera. His work is disturbing, yet beautiful, and most of the time silly, and sometimes bring back old memories of childhood.
Ryden says it's best to work at night, and that the daytime should be kept for sleeping. One of his best exhibitions called, "The Meat Show", in 2001, was inspired by the quote, "Life is a great illusion." He painted t-bone steaks into the strangest atmospheres imaginable, most people need an interpretation of what his paintings mean since they are full of religious and political symbolism.