No one can describe or explain the artwork of Mark Bryan more brilliantly than the artist himself: “Given this beautiful planet, our intelligence, talent, and opposable thumbs, one would think that things for us would be a lot better than they are…As a result of this perspective, satirical work is the logical direction for me. Humor allows for comment to be made without alienating the viewer.”
Combining incredible technical skill with a strong point of view allows Bryan to create detailed and specific images that illustrate an idea, but give the viewer so much more to look at, and fodder for additional interpretation. His recent works are strong political commentary, ones that combine the current political “Tea Party” with the colorful and insane images of the tea party in Alice in Wonderland, swapping out the Mad Hatter with political figures.
Other work is more subtle, more personal. In “If Looks Could Kill” (1997), a husband and wife are completely covered in armor, shooting missiles at each other from their eyes. In Bryan’s own writing, he explains, “My wife and I were coming out of a rough patch at the time I painted this picture. Notice even the food in this painting is engaged in warfare.” Indeed, even the entrées and salt and pepper shakers are shooting at each other.
Bryan has exhibited his work throughout the state of California, including California State University of Pomona and the Meridian Gallery in San Francisco. Mark Bryan’s work has been written about extensively, including a chapter in Artful Jesters: Innovators of Visual Wit and Humor by Nicholas Roukes, and an interview in Juxtapoz Magazine called “The Art of Mark Bryan.”