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Michael Mararian  Brooklyn, NY


* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.


About Michael


Michael Mararian possesses a poetic propensity for taking traditionally cheerful images and concepts and turning them into frightening, yet humorous, tableaus. Focusing on children as the last bastion of innocence, Mararian draws on a diverse range of influences to deliver the peculiar ink work he aptly calls, M. Mararian’s Inky Dreadfuls. In this world our fondest visions of childhood’s naiveté are darkly rearranged to uncover lost innocence and the fear of our modern times.

Though often shroud in the macabre, Michaels’ ink paintings are also suffused with a sense of mischievous, almost self-deprecating humor. What can on one level be construed as melancholy and cruel, can alternately be viewed as amusing, even charming. He enjoys letting his viewers decide.


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10 of 32 reactions displayed


I feel kinda bad for both kids...the first looks like he's gonna die (very horribly), and the second looks insane.

i think is pretty good shows lots of emotion

something tells me the pieces some consider "in your face shock value" (alot of his newer work it seems) is part of what he IS going for, whether anyone likes it or not.

i love his pieces, it is not that they are sad or anything its just reality. kids in the past and even this days are been tortured and put to work just to get something to eat. most people back in those days believed that kids were able to do the work because of their small hands little did they know it was harming them and taking away their innocence. there are people i know that had to work out of their will very little to help out in the house... its sad yes, torturing ofcourse but its also true... we should open up our minds and realize that this is still going on.

these are beautiful and great but at the same time horrible because these children look like they are being tortured!!!!!!!

You can feel sorry for me if you want, but I find the subject matter and execution of most of these drawing very immature. There were a few I enjoyed for their more subtle dark humor (The Obsolete Executioner from 2006) but overall this just feels like in-your-face cliche shock value, the kind you would find from any high school goth kid taking an art class.

well k burg the top one i have to say is pretty gorey the young boy is about to get pulled into all the moving gears and get crushed.

Nick, I don't think Edward Gorey could have drawn something so painful and complex as the image above with the boy against the mirror. Gorey's great and I love his work but he was different - he was an illustrator with plenty of dry wit but with really no emotion. I was never disturbed by a Gorey drawing -- Mararian's work manages to do both in my opinion. I'm not sure I would write it off as a pale imitation with no value.

I love all the inky dreadful children. The myth that childhood was a good time needs to be busted now and then like the farcical balloon that it is. Besides, where there's children, there's snot.

cr- I find it interesting you find the work sad to the point where you don't want to look at them too long and yet I find myself revisitng them and smiling -I think it's a real testament to their broad effectiveness.

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