Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Tree Show & Fushigi Circus

"The tree that moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way... some scarce see nature at all, but to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself." - William Blake

Of course I borrowed that directly from The Tree Show book itself - I mean, I love to do research as much as the next guy, but c'mon, to get a quote this apropos? I can't help but think it's more than just a happy coincidence that it could just as easily be regarding art as nature; the whole 'beauty in the eye of the beholder' vibe is just too clear to be ignored. And in a lot of ways I feel that this literal-ambiguity-yet-clear-sentiment mirrors the work of Ryden himself. The visual vocabulary used by Mark Ryden is filled with plush pets, virginal vixens, religious iconography, alchemical symbols and slabs of meat painstakingly rendered against a backdrop of primordial, Arcadian splendor. In the Tree Show he skillfully weaves together images of the cute and cuddly, the stately and striking, to create bittersweet canvases that manage to celebrate nature at the same time they mourn its loss.

And since more of a good thing is always better, for those of you not satisfied with just one Mark Ryden monograph we also have the deliciously disturbing Fushigi Circus, a survey of 55 of of Ryden's most impressive works from past shows to the present. This gorgeous hardcover is clothbound and sure to be a treasured gem in any art lover's collection. Both available in our webshop or come by the Leliegracht to peruse them in person.

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