Mark Ryden. “The Meat Show” (1998).

The Angel of Meat (detail), by Mark Ryden. (Oil on panel, 1998).

The Angel of Meat (detail), by Mark Ryden. (Oil on panel, 1998).

Inside Sue, by Mark Ryden. (Oil on Panel, 15” x 11”, 1997).

Inside Sue, by Mark Ryden. (Oil on Panel, 15” x 11”, 1997).

Spectaculum Carnis, by Mark Ryden.
© Porterhouse Fine Art Editions.

Spectaculum Carnis, by Mark Ryden.

© Porterhouse Fine Art Editions.

Mark Ryden's The Meat Show exhibition.

Mark Ryden's The Meat Show exhibition.

Snow White detail, by Mark Ryden. (Oil on canvas, 1997).

Snow White detail, by Mark Ryden. (Oil on canvas, 1997).

There seems to be a complete disconnect between meat as food and the living, breathing creature it comes from. I suppose it is this contradiction that brings me to return to meat in my art. It surprises many people to learn that I am actually not a vegetarian. I don’t think it is morally wrong to eat meat. What I do personally is to try to remain aware of what I am eating and where it came from. I am not trying to preach a moral stance on anything in my art, but I find that juxtaposition of imagery can create a kind of distance and then an ensuing heightening of awareness.
The Meat Show catalog.
© Porterhouse Fine Art Editions

The Meat Show catalog.

© Porterhouse Fine Art Editions

Meat is a joy to paint. The wonderful variety of textures and patterns in the marbling of meat is sumptuous. Subtle pinks gently swirl around with rich vermilions and fatty yellow ochers. A representational painting of meat easily becomes an exercise in abstraction. I find myself playing with the paint, smearing, scraping, staining and doing things I wouldn’t be so inclined to with other representations.
themeatshow:

The Meat Show - Little Star.
Oil on panel, 1997.

themeatshow:

The Meat Show - Little Star.

Oil on panel, 1997.

Inside Sue, by Mark Ryden. (Oil on panel, 1997).

Inside Sue, by Mark Ryden. (Oil on panel, 1997).