Known as the godfather of pop surrealism, Mark Ryden draws inspiration from anything that will evoke mystery. From old toys and anatomical models to stuffed animals and religious ephemera found in flea markets, he is a collector at heart.
His love of “stuff” is shown throughout his crowded paintings, that almost burst at the seams with details. “I’ve often said that it is the diversity of my inspirations that most defines my art”, he told Plastik Magazine. “I look at many things for inspiration. I collect lots of things and lots of junk. My studio and house are overflowing with stuff. I collect old children’s books, interesting product packages, toys, photographs, medical models, and religious statues.”
“I also have an extensive collection of books on art,” he said. “I love the old masters more than contemporary art, so most of my books are on artists like Ingres, David, Bronzino, and Carpaccio with just a few contemporaries like Neo Rauch and Loretta Lux.”
Based in Portland, Oregon, his paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. But if you haven’t got the chance to see his work in person, be sure to follow his Instagram page.