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LA Weekly covers Mark Ryden art opening

LA Weekly covers Mark Ryden art opening

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Holly Myers of LA Weekly wrote about Mark Ryden and his latest art exhibition (shown here, The Tree of Life, which sold for $800,000). There are several nice photos of his paintings in the piece.
"These pictures," [gallery owner Michael] Kohn remarks, "are just extraordinarily well painted. And they're weird enough to be interesting. I've noticed among my colleagues -- a lot of my colleagues out in New York, who deal with more conceptually based work -- that looking at Mark's work used to be a guilty pleasure. I saw them coming by my booth in the Miami Basel Art Fair and oohing and aahing over this extraordinarily seductive painting. This was not their normal fare but they liked it anyway. Now, little by little, it's shifting. A guy who bought one of the works in this show collects Diebenkorn and Thiebaud and John Currin and some contemporary photographers -- not just figurative work but mainstream contemporary work, and now that also includes Mark Ryden. Now people can finally do it guilt free."

That Ryden will get the attention of the art world is all but assured: He's simply too talented, too rigorous and -- more to the point -- too savvy an artist not to. More interesting, then, is the next question: What does it mean for a serious contemporary artist to be popular?

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