Marion Peck was born in Manila, Philippines, in 1963, while her family was on a trip around the world. She grew up in Seattle, Washington, and currently lives in Portland with her husband Mark Ryden, renowned King of Pop Surrealism movement who she married in the woods of the Pacific Northwest rainforest.
Her childhood was full of artistic support and creativity, and when she got a bit older, Marion Peck decided to enroll in The Rhode Island School of Design in 1985, where she received a BFA. Subsequently she studied in two different MFA programs, Syracuse University in New York and Temple University in Rome. While she was in Italy, she had the possibility to absorb its traditional art, typical landscapes, food and atmosphere. This was a key moment in her artistic career since it was in Italy that Peck thought about her high aspiration of painter to reach the masterful level of technique and skill achieved by Italian masters of the 16th and 17th centuries. Later on, she incorporated all the knowledge and teachings she had learned from those masters into a fresher, more contemporary style, and found what she defines a combination of Pop Art and Surrealism. Peck became known for her magnificent artworks in the contemporary field of figurative art called Pop Surrealism, and has exhibited her work all over the world. Marion Peck’s art, coming out of a perfect oil technique and a bright palette, takes us into a wonderful world full of solitude and detachment that is simultaneously sweet and absurd.
Her compositions are characteristically cartoonish and the style she uses is promptly recognisable, focusing on a specific sense of humour, which ranges from joyous to quite sarcastic, while depicting unusual subjects in a way that resembles a dream’s vision. Challenge is a keyword in Peck’s compositions that are usually presented as an official artist statement regarding contemporary political, cultural issues and social icons. These latter are turned into surreal parodies, ironic images that distort reality and reduce it to mere farce. Peck’s artwork does have many elements, such as the narrative component, which recall the Italian Renaissance pictures surrounding her during college time. They all have a specific story to display. The dreamlike scheme can be attributed to Surrealism, but all her subjects and the way they are depicted can be defined as pure Pop art.
Peck’s artworks are full of fantasy, outlandish landscapes inhabited by circus creatures, furry characters with big, puppy eyes. When asked to describe the story behind some of her pieces, Marion responded: “If there is a narrative to emerge from my paintings, I hope it would be just like a very short poem”.
Her artistic pieces are filled to the brim with memorable characters drawn by the stream of dreams; Peck’s subjects are full of life, sometimes simply adorable, soft or extremely funny. Marion Peck has exhibited her work all around the world both in galleries and museums such as: “Art from the New World” at the Bristol City Museum, “Hey! Modern art and Pop Culture” at the Musée de la Halle St Pierre in Paris, France, “Pop Surrealism,” held at the Museum of Visual Arts Palazzo Collicola in Spoleto, Italy during the “Festival dei Due Mondi”, “Turn the Page” at The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and “Cross The Streets” held at MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, Italy in 2017. Her work has also been used for album covers, such as Waking the Mystics by Portland art rock group Sophe Lux. Among her major publications, there are I Cari Estinti Exhibition Catalog (2006), Paintings by Marion Peck (2003), Sweet Wishes (2008), Animal Love Summer (2010), Lamb Land (2016).