Marion Peck

About Marion Peck:

Marion Peck was born in Manila, the Philippines, in 1963, while her family was on a trip around the world. She grew up in Seattle, WA and currently lives and works in Portland with her husband, the artist Mark Ryden.


Her childhood was full of artistic support and creativity, and when she got a bit older, Peck enrolled 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.


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 recognizable, focusing on a specific sense of humor, 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 a mere farce. Peck’s artwork does have many elements, such as the narrative component, which recalls 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, Peck responded: “If there is a narrative to emerge from my paintings, I hope it would be just like a very short poem.” Her artwork 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.


Peck has exhibited her work all around the world both in galleries and museums. Her work has also been used for album covers, such as Waking the Mystics by Portland art-rock group Sophe Lux, and publications from Peck include: Cari Estinti Exhibition Catalog (2006), Paintings by Marion Peck (2003), Sweet Wishes (2008), Animal Love Summer (2010), and Lamb Land: The Art of Marion Peck (2016).