KRK Ryden KRK Ryden KRK Ryden KRK Ryden KRK Ryden KRK Ryden KRK Ryden KRK Ryden
Life and Art

KRK was born in Seattle, Washington but didn't stay there long.
His early years were spent growing up in Southern California, in cities like Anaheim, the home of Disneyland. KRK's uncle Al (Alex Korgal), was employed by Disney in the late 50's and early 60's as a manager of the 'Main Street' area of Disneyland. Because of this, "Keithie" got a lot of free E tickets. When he was four he was introduced to old man Walt himself. Later that day, due to all the excitement, little Keithie hurled at the entrance of Disneyland, right on the cobblestone street.

Artistic Roots

Leap forward to Canyon High School, Castro Valley, 1968. In his sophomore year, an art class assignment would define his painting and drawing style, and consequently influence the artistic style of his brother, Mark Ryden.

An art teacher had each student reach in a hat and pick a slip of paper with the name of a particular art movement scrawled on it. The student was to write a paper on the movement of art randomly chosen.

When KRK (then Keith) picked Surrealism he was peeved because he wanted to write about the Italian Renaissance. Another reason for the upset was because he had no clue to what Surrealism meant. The word had looked utterly foreign.

After checking out a few school library books and seeing for the first time the art of Dali, the artist's art and life was changed permanently. This art triggered a sort of rebellion; it created a disdain for the norm. There was no turning back to the imagery of landscapes, still-life, and puppies. It fit right in with the times; the Summer of Love. It was 1968 and psychedelic art was at full swing and going on just a spit away in San Francisco.
Splitting From School

The last two years of high school was spent almost entirely in the art class of South Lake Tahoe High. It was taught by a Czechoslovakian
by the name of Zdenk Dvorak. Good fortune came to KRK here because this teacher should have been in art college but preferred teaching at high school level.

It was Dvorak who taught Ryden how to print; stone lithography, photo offset printing, lino-cut, and silk-screening. Mr. Dvorak also taught him how comic book inking was done, and this early introduction on how to handle a brush influenced a style and direction that evolved through the years. Directly out of school, KRK worked on a local Tahoe free magazine called Fibre. In this first issue of Fibre, (previously called The Pink Dinosaur), he was given credit as art director, under the name of Keyth Ryden.

Mad City

Skipping ahead to the year 1975, KRK found himself in Madison, Wisconsin. Madison was meant to be just a rest stop on the way to New York. KRK left San Francisco that year to join the Yippies in Kansas City, Kansas. The Yippies (Youth International Party) were gathered in Kansas to whoop it up at the Democratic convention being held there.

It was there that famed radical David Peel saw his art and invited him to come along and stay at the Yippy headquarters on Bleeker Street in New York.
After stopping at Madison KRK was taken in on how cool this "Berkley of the Midwest" was. So instead of jumping back on the Yippy bus and continuing on to the Big Apple, he stayed there for four years, cut his hair from hippy waist-length to a punk buzz cut, got a leather jacket and created some radical art for local leftist papers, (Free-For-All, No Limits).

In 1979, KRK, (using the company name Keyth Ryden Kreations), started involving himself more with the music industry, doing stuff for punk bands like So What, and ad art for the local club Merlyn's . He also created the logo for Merlyn's.

The cold of the Midwest started getting to him, (cabin fever and thirty degree below weather), and with the help of his brother Steven, hightailed it back to sunny California.
KRK Ryden KRK Ryden KRK Ryden KRK Ryden KRK Ryden KRK Ryden KRK Ryden KRK Ryden
KRK Ryden