“You must trust your subconscious and the unknown sources it can tap into” Mark Ryden
Surrealist art as social commentary can be absurd to the point of humerous or. . . confusing. This artists bio reads ” a subtle disquiet inhabits his paintings; the work is achingly beautiful as it hints at darker psychic stuff beneath the surface of cultural kitsch.”
Artist Mark Ryden paints fireside fairytale scenes imbued with arcane references and modern pop artifacts. His work is a blending of themes of 19th century American landscape painters with the pop symbolism of modern culture creating an element of surprise and non sequitur. Ryden says ” My goal in art is to get past literal conscious thought and try to let my uninhibited subconscious mind make art.”
The Surrealist movement of the 1920s was founded on the same principle . The early Surrealists thought in terms of a cultural philosophical movement that would liberate the imagination. The artistic/literary Surrealist movement that evolved in Paris explored ideas concerning unconscious visions and dream imagery coupled with startling juxtapositions. In a 1918 essay by French poet Pierre Reveray he described Surrealism as ” A juxtaposition of two more or less distant realities. The more the relationship between the juxtaposed realities is true, the stronger the image will be – the greater its emotional power and poetic reality.” Mark Rydens work has the illustrative style, philosophical and visual aspects of Surrealism but moves beyond the ideas concerning unconscious and dream imagery by incorporating a cultural connotation and a relationship with nature.
There is an alarming disconnect with nature in modern society. The mysterious spirits of trees, rocks and rivers are obscure and forgotten. Our relationship with plants and animals is reduced to an animated cartoon by Disney. Urban dwellers removed from the land have no conceptional idea where food comes from. Packaged and delivered there is a severe disconnection between preparation and consumption. A Porter House steak comes from somewhere and bunnies are not made of fluff.
Ryden says the mystery is the message. “People have the idea that an image must ‘stand for’ something else, that the ‘real’ meaning needs to be described with language. Instead it is the image itself that is the meaning. “
You can access Mark Rydens web site here.