Artists Mark Ryden and Marion Peck are known for works of surrealist pop art that have often confounded critics, even as they intrigue and inspire a growing list of very prominent admirers and even imitators (the notorious meat dress Lady Gaga wore to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards was reportedly inspired by one of Ryden’s paintings).
What many fans may not realize is that Ryden and Peck’s house in Eagle Rock is something of a work of art unto itself.
Or, at least, it was until earlier this month, when the couple began packing up their things in preparation for a move. Tired of the relentless Southern California sunshine, Ryden and Peck are headed for the gloomier environment of the Pacific Northwest—where the skies better match somber hue of some of their best known works.
Fortunately, Ryden and Peck invited Curbed LA to capture the eclectic splendor of their home before it changes hands. Filled with a truly astonishing array of collectibles, trinkets, sculptures, works of art, and curious artifacts, the home’s interior design is the product of years of collecting. The couple moved in 11 years ago, but Ryden says he has been gathering, “junk, treasures, and bric-a-brac” for most of his adult life. “They are the things that inspire me in my art making,” he says.
Ryden and Peck have had shows around the world and have picked up many items in their travels, but Ryden says his most fruitful source of loot has been the monthly Rose Bowl flea market, which he has been frequenting since 1984, when he was a student at the nearby Art Center College of Design.
Ryden says the rooms aren’t necessarily themed, though a connecting motif sometimes develops over time. That certainly seems to be the case in a bathroom that has been turned into an odd memorial to Abraham Lincoln. The sixteenth president features prominently into a number of Ryden’s works, and he notes that he has been collecting images of Lincoln for years.
“There is something indefinable that is endlessly fascinating about Abraham Lincoln,” he says. In a 2014 interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Ryden explains, “there’s something about the power of