Mark Ryden: childhood.macabre.genius

June 10, 2008 § Leave a comment

A Dog Named Jesus

You know, I forgot how much I love Mark Ryden’s work  till last week when I was working on one of the layouts for John O’Sullivan’s poems (this poem anthology we’re putting together at Qube).

His paintings have are so detailed and vivid, you’ll want to visit that world, even if the subtle creepiness of its denizens unsettle you. There are furry creatures you’ve never seen,in settings and situations you can only dream about.

The Apology

Snow White

The Butcher Bunny

The Meat Magi

Allegory of the Four Elements

He’s describes as a “pop surrealist”, which is quite succinct, if a little trite. The term seems to bring to mind bright Andy Warhol-colours, which is different from Ryden… his colours are more of a muted palette. Muted, but still rich. I know I contradicted myself there, but I’m not sure how to describe it. Whatever it is, the colours come together beautifully.

There’s also a lot of undertones going on, so it’s fun to see what references/allusions you can pick up amongst the  wide-eyed, not-so-innocent children. Religion, satire, current affairs… they’re all there.

Little Boy Blue

So, if you never knew what exactly “macabre” meant in this peachy-pink world, visit Mark Ryden’s gallery .


official website:
his interviews under ‘PRESS’ make for interesting reads.

his bio on wikipedia:


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