Mark Ryden’s “The Gay 90’s: West” – a new exhibition at Kohn Gallery

Mark Ryden’s “The Gay 90:s West” – a new exhibition at Kohn Gallery

Hundreds if not thousands of Angelenos, including myself, waited in line for an hour and a half to have pop art painter Mark Ryden sign his books at the new location and grand opening of the Kohn Gallery on Highland Avenue in Hollywood. This exhibition is a continuation of his show “The Gay 90’s: Old Tyme Art Show” that took place in 2010 at the Kasmin Gallery, New York. The Mark Ryden exhibit inaugurates the new 12,000-foot space and runs from May 3 – June 28, 2014.

I took special notice of Mark Ryden’s art four years ago at Bergamot Station Arts Center. His art kept me up all night.
https://hannahkozak.wordpress.com/2010/09/11/bergamot-station/
Mark blends techniques reminiscent of the old masters along with pop culture themes that gives his art a cryptic, cute yet disturbing archetype of childhood innocence blended with the mysterious recesses of the soul. Just like Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson, Mark has a passion for Abe Lincoln. I think of him as the Alfred Hitchcock of surrealism.

Mark Ryden, The Cone of Memory, 2012, oil on canvas with vintage frame 37.5 x 2 30.5 inches

Mark Ryden, The Cone of Memory, 2012, oil on canvas with vintage frame 37.5 x 2 30.5 inches

Mark Ryden, The Parlor, (Allegory of Magic, Quintessence, and Divine Mystery), 2012, Oil on canvas with artist designed frame. 98 x 120 inches

Mark Ryden, The Parlor, (Allegory of Magic, Quintessence, and Divine Mystery), 2012, Oil on canvas with artist designed frame. 98 x 120 inches

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden, Meat Dancer, 2011, Oil on canvas with vintage frame, 75 x 50 inches.

Mark Ryden, Meat Dancer, 2011, Oil on canvas with vintage frame, 75 x 50 inches.

Mark Ryden, The Piano Man, 2006, oil on canvas with artist designed frame, 29 x 39 inches

Mark Ryden, The Piano Man, 2006, oil on canvas with artist designed frame, 29 x 39 inches

Mark Ryden, Incarnation, 2009, oil painted on canvas with artist designed frame, 86.5 x 63.5 inches

Mark Ryden, Incarnation, 2009, oil painted on canvas with artist designed frame, 86.5 x 63.5 inches

Mark Ryden, The Creatix, No 54, 2005

Mark Ryden, The Creatix, No 54, 2005

Mark Ryden, Tree of Life, No 53, 2007

Mark Ryden, Tree of Life, No 53, 2007

Mark Ryden, Katy Perry

Mark Ryden, Katy Perry

Hannah_Kozak_Mark_Ryden_0484

Mark Ryden, Queen Bee, No 105, 2013

Mark Ryden, Queen Bee, No 105, 2013

Hannah_Kozak_Mark_Ryden_0495

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden, The Grinder, 2

Mark Ryden, The Grinder, 2

Mark Ryden, Medium Yams, No. 102, 2012, oil on panel

Mark Ryden, Medium Yams, No. 102, 2012, oil on panel

Mark Ryden, Pink Lincoln, 2010, Oil on canvas with artist-designed frame, hand-painted by the artist

Mark Ryden, Pink Lincoln, 2010, Oil on canvas with artist-designed frame, hand-painted by the artist

Mark Ryden @ Kohn Gallery , 3 May 2014

Mark Ryden @ Kohn Gallery , 3 May 2014

Mark Ryden and daughter @ Kohn Gallery, 3 May 2014,

Mark Ryden and daughter @ Kohn Gallery, 3 May 2014,

Mark Ryden @ Kohn Gallery , 3 May 2014

Mark Ryden @ Kohn Gallery , 3 May 2014

hannah kozak - self portrait

hannah kozak – self portrait

Mark has a unique way of not only painting but the way he signs his books. I brought along my Taschen (one of my favorite publishers) April 15, 2013 – 352 page edition of of Pinxit. At 7.7 pounds, it is a heavy beauty.

Mark Ryden's Pinxit, 15 April 2013 edition published by Taschen

Mark Ryden’s Pinxit, 15 April 2013 edition published by Taschen

Look at the stamp he uses on each autograph.

Mark Ryden autograph & special stamp

Mark Ryden autograph & special stamp

I also brought along my Mark Ryden December 1, 2011, 110 page, gold trim pages with soft faux leather blood color cover edition of “Blood: Paintings of Sorrow and Fear.” It’s larger than the previous edition and contains 16 additional pages. Mark provides his readers an explanation and apology for his outwardly morbid theme confessing it reflected his innermost feelings during a particularly vulnerable depressing period in his life. He was exploring feelings of grief, trauma and loss.

Mark purposely created the paintings in Blood small because he wanted to make quiet things about pain. They seem to have an underlying purpose and have been described as a postmodern version of memento mori , a Latin phrase that means “remember you must die”. In other words, start living your life by whatever means of inspiration you can find. Memento mori is the artistic or symbolic reminder of the inevitability of death.

Mark, like most artists, understands that by revisiting the roots of dysfunction and suffering, we abandon the memories that create our emotional barriers. Federico Fellini said there is only the infinite passion of life and Mark Ryden truly embraces his infinite passions in his art.

Mark Ryden, Blood

Mark Ryden, Blood

Mark Ryden Blood autograph and stamp

Mark Ryden Blood autograph and stamp

Last but really not least, Mark handed me a special present. Not only a genuine, warm smile but also a pin called Daisy along with a Limited Edition Dum Dum. Mark likes the same lollipops as Michael Jackson did!

Mark Ryden special Daisy button

Mark Ryden special Daisy button

Creative people

Creative people

Mark Ryden’s “The Gay 90:s West” – a new exhibition at Kohn Gallery

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About hannahkozak

I am passionate about photography & have been making photos since I was a little girl. I have been a stunt woman for twenty five years. I have a passion for exploration, discovery, and escape. I dream of every place I seek to travel to. A recovering adrenaline junkie, I seek authenticity in everyday experiences. I love Kundalini Yoga,travel, books,writing and authentic, real experiences and people. I brake for squirrels. Que le vaya bien! View all posts by hannahkozak

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