Monday, 1 April 2013

Inspiring Reads: Pinxit by Mark Ryden

I am a huge fan of Mark Ryden's work. Most people will know of his work even if they don't realise it. Ryden created the artwork for Michael Jackson's Dangerous album. His paintings are executed with a skill that should be admired even if the subject matter isn't to everyone's taste. There is an element of Japanese influence in his colour palette and also in the childlike characters with huge doe-like eyes and oversized heads. When viewing a Mark Ryden work you could be forgiven for missing something in the first viewing since his paintings are generally overloaded with pop culture imagery as well as religious iconography.


Ryden's publications reflect the detail and quality of his artworks. The most recent book, Pinxit, is a monograph. I pre-ordered my copy since most of his publications are produced in limited quantities and often sell out. When the book arrived I was surprised by the size (its certainly not a book for flicking through on a train journey!). As you would expect from all Taschen publications, the cover is a luxurious pink colour with a gold embossed symbol from Ryden's paintings. The first chapter is a statement from the artist and each subsequent chapter specifically discussed each of Ryden's body of works including where the inspiration came from for each series.

The book hasn't been produced in different languages so the text section of each chapter is also repeated in German. I find this slightly annoying but the volume of quality, glossy images of his artworks along with sketches and gatefolds to show larger works more than makes up for this minor drawback.

The £45 price tag is still quite steep for an art book but the quality of the book is reflected in the price. If you are a fan of pop surrealism I would definitely recommend it. If you're still unsure check out his website first but I do promise that the book offers more of a visual treat than viewing his paintings online.

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