I like to think I’m a fun guy.
Opening Night: “The Gay 90s: West” by Mark Ryden at Kohn Gallery
Last Friday, Kohn Gallery celebrated the opening of its new space in Hollywood with Mark Ryden‘s highly anticipated exhibition, “The Gay 90s: West”. The gallery walls were painted pale pink for the occasion, complimenting Ryden’s softly colored paintings that glamorize 19th century nostalgia and old time kitsch. Ryden’s latest neoclassical and pop surrealistic works are populated by young girls, religious icons, and street peddling Abraham Lincoln in 1890s America. Each piece is framed in Japanese wood, an art in its own right, ornately carved in bas-relief with motifs like birds, leafy branches, and the faces of his characters.
Despite hot weather, fans lined up for blocks to see the show and get a signed copy of his “Old Tyme Music” LP. It is inspired by the 1892 song, “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)”, of which an original recording can be heard playing on a gramophone throughout the gallery. The record features multiple versions of this song by celebrities like Katy Perry, who appears in the painting “Katy Aphrodite”. The proceeds from all 500 records benefit Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit that supports music education in disadvantaged schools.
Top- Mark Ryden with his work.
(Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Kohn Gallery)