Fuzzy bunnies, big-eyed girls, meat, magic, and mystery: Mark Ryden's carnival of curiosities

Artist Marion Peck and her husband, Mark Ryden at Pixit book signing at the Taschen bookstore in the Los Angeles Farmers' Market on 21 December 2013 (Photo: Mark Frauenfelder).

"Fuzzy bunnies, big-eyed girls, meat, magic, and mystery." That's Taschen Books' capsule description of the things that artist Mark Ryden often includes in his surreal, cotton-candy-colored paintings. They did't include "Abraham Lincoln, snow, and candy," but that's OK. You'll figure that out on your own when you see the masterfully-rendered paintings in the pages of his latest book, Pinxit, which came out in April.

A couple of weeks ago I learned that Mark was coming to the Taschen store at the historic Los Angeles Farmers' Market on December 21. My 16 year old daughter is an admirer of his work, so I brought her and one of her friends along to brave the 65-degree weather during an hour-long wait in line to get a copy of Pinxit signed by the artist that the New York Times once dubbed a "relentless kitsch meister."

Artist Tim Biskup was the DJ for the event. Here's Tim, waving hi to you!

I've been a longtime fan of Mark's paintings, but my mind was fully blown a few years ago when I saw his gigantic paintings up close at an exhibit in Pasadena (with David and Carla, who were also hit by Stendhal Syndrome that day). Mark's work has an infinite zoom aspect that makes it fun to carefully explore every inch of his phantasmagorical canvases, then step back to admire the composition, then zoom in again for more microscopic gawking.

Here's a preview of Pinxit. For more, download this PDF preview of Pinxit. Get a copy of Pinxit on Amazon