If you have a sweet tooth, beware of Mark Ryden. He goes beyond kitsch and nosedives into the realm of the genuinely cute, with his doe-eyed cherubs and frisky woodland friends. Ryden's technique, reminiscent of the old masters, draws you in with its inviting, glazed-donut sheen.
And then things start to get creepy. Underage flesh is rendered with a little too much succulence, eyes begin to appear bloodshot, a party dress, upon closer inspection, is made of raw meat. Ryden leaves you in a state of limbo, dazzled by this naughty nostalgia even against your better judgment. This artist appeals to the darkest interpretations of fantasy.
Now you can ogle the pop surrealist weirdo's works in the privacy of your own home with the release of "Pinxit," (meaning "painted by" in Latin), featuring work from Ryden's exhibitions The Meat Show, Bunnies & Bees, The Tree Show and more. Yoshitomo Nara, Carlo McCormick and culture critic Kristine McKenna weigh in on Ryden's work in a series of essays; to top it off, there will only be 1,000 editions released, each one signed by the artist.
"Pinxit" is published by Taschen Books. An opening party in honor of the collection will be held Thursday, March 1 at Taschen in Beverly Hills, so get your fancy outfit ready and strut your stuff down to the bookstore.
What do you think of Ryden's world, readers? Let us know in the comments section below.