Art: Mark Ryden - Wondertoonel @ The Frye Art Museum (Seattle)

When I was up in Seattle this past weekend, I got the chance to check out one of very few artists whose work I just gotta see in person. That artist is Mark Ryden and the Frye has more than 30 of his pieces on display... sizes ranging from a tiny 3x3 inches to an expansive 3x4 feet.

And just what kind of stuff does Mark paint?!? Well the usual… bunnies, Abe Lincoln, bees, prepubescent girls, blood, meat, illuminati.... all of which are recurring themes in Mark's work.

Somewhat disturbing? Perhaps. Shocking? Maybe. Twisted? Sure. But the way Mark presents his subject matter - in an ultra-glossy, slick and “fun” way - what might have been otherwise revolting is instead... “cute”.

Wondertoonel – Paintings by Mark Ryden

Something out of a gothic fantasia? a Tim Burton film? Appropriately enough, Burton collaborator Danny Elfman had at least one of his paintings on loan… though Sympathy record label head Long Gone John owned the majority of the pieces. Props to them for sharing.

It wasn't just the paintings that I found incredible... the framing added a whole other dimension to his work. Many of which were painstakingly carved 3 dimensional extensions such as these:

Magic Circus or the set like Ringmaster

Not all of the beautiful frames are displayed online.

Here is one of my personal favorite pieces... Little Boy Blue

And as always… the show was absolutely free… just ‘cause The Frye Art Museum be like that.

The Frye Art Museum

Mark Ryden's Wondertoonel retrospective is in Seattle, WA until February 13 and then Pasadena, CA until May 8th. Check it out immediately.

Thx Sedea.


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