The Snow Yak Show
In Southern California, where the Entertainment Industry flourishes, Mark Ryden creates imaginative and beautiful--often haunting--works of art. Ryden graduated from the prestigious Art Center in Pasadena, California, with an emphasis on illustration (like Mark Tansey) which helped to hone his considerable skill as a draftsman. Yet as a painter Ryden has drawn upon art historical models that range from Medieval book illustrations to Ingres’ Neoclassic nudes. In true 21st Century form, Ryden merges diverse source material into his own unique style of painting.
While Ryden’s forms can be based upon childlike toys and storybook figures, within them resides a parallel truth of dark mystery. The brilliant painting surface and provocative context harmonize wonderfully, and invite the viewer to enter a hyper-real world--the inner world of the painting.
The Tomio Koyama Gallery will exhibit 8 paintings in this show, titled “The Snow Yak Show.” In these works, Ryden presents an array of main characters, from a young and innocent female youth, to a warm and cuddly, yet imaginary, toy animal, to a pure white animal that resembles an exotic “snow yak.” This is usual for the artist to create a unique and separate body of work around one main theme, as in “The Tree Show” at Michael Kohn Gallery in 2007 and “The Meat Show” at Mendenhall Gallery in 1998.” In these works, a Snow yak stands upon on a little girl’s body; there is a portrait of a half-yak beautiful girl, and other images of fantasy, poignancy and beauty.