Oh my gosh, I'm so in love with these paintings. They beautifully mix some of my my favorites" Frida Kahlo, Dutch & Italian masters, surrealism, children's book illustrations and darling rabbits! Mark Ryden's paintings draw you in with gorgeous color palettes and seductive realism while pushing you away with creepy juxtapositions of religious symbolism and childhood nightmares. What's best of all you ask? Well, the use of bunnies, fluffy rabbits and more bunnies, of course!
It is only in childhood that contemporary society truly allows for imagination. Children can see a world ensouled, where bunnies weep and bees have secrets, where “inanimate” objects are alive. Many people think that childhood’s world of imagination is silly, unworthy of serious consideration, something to be outgrown. Modern thinking demands that an imaginative connection to nature needs to be overcome by “mature” ways of thinking about the world. Human beings used to connect to life through mystery and mythology. Now this kind of thinking is regarded as primitive or naive. Without it, we cut ourselves off from the life force, the world soul, and we are empty and starving. I believe in letting imagination thrive in my art. I am not afraid of nostalgia or sentiment. I value taking the time to make a painting “beautiful.” I want to breath life into my paintings. — Mark Ryden [excerpt taken from his artist statement from Wondertoonel]