Markus Pierson

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Pierson Profile Image

BORN 1961, Lansing, Michigan USA

STUDIES

Lansing Community College Lansing, Michigan
Pictorial Billboard Painter Jackson, Michigan
Studied Lithography with Stephen Britko Santa Fe, New Mexico

Artist Statement

You know, I wasn’t always an artist.  In fact, I was a journeyman bookkeeper when I almost kicked the bucket back from Crohn’s Disease about twelve years ago.  Thankfully I didn’t, and when I woke up in the hospital I told everyone I knew that the bookkeeper was dead after all – but in his place was a man who was going to become a successful artist.  They thought I was nuts.  I wasn’t.  Two years later in June 1986, I started the Coyote Series.  I was living in Jackson, Michigan, a town perennially voted the worst place to live in America.  My inspiration was a Joni Mitchell song “Coyote.”  A friend of mine put it on a tape and I listened.  At the time I was 26, a dirt poor billboard painter living in a tiny one room apartment.  I was so poor, in fact, that I couldn’t even afford a shower curtain to serve as a wedding present for two good friends who were getting married in the Southwest.  I figured they might like one of my Coyote drawings so I did a romantic one and took it there – the people at the wedding went nuts!  Well, you know how these things go – somebody knew somebody who knew somebody in the art business, and within a year my art was being sold in over a hundred art galleries across the country.

That was 18 years ago.  Since then I have had 32 one-man exhibitions all across the country.  I have completed 327 originals, of which 319 have sold.  I have created 33 different sculpture editions and 24 print editions.  The price of my first original was $100.  One recently sold for $30,000.  Crazy.

The Coyotes have been collected by dozens of famous celebrities, Captains of Industry and Heads of State.  From Oliver Stone to Ozzie Osborne, from NBC President Warren Littlefield to Kevin Costner, from the CEO of Exxon to John Cleese, from billionaire Sam Zell to Sylvester Stallone, from Tommie Lee to the American Ambassador to Argentina – the coyotes do get around.  They have been featured on numerous movies and television shows, and have been the subject of several newspaper and magazine articles.  They hang on the walls of mansions and great villas around the world.

In the upcoming year I will be working with the American Cancer Society and The Organization for Tobacco Free Kids on an anti-camel – anti-smoking campaign in which “Miles the Coyote” will take on RJ Reynolds “Joe Camel” in the fight against the promotion of adolescent smoking.  My grandfather, a lifelong smoker, died of emphysema.  My father started smoking at twelve but stopped about ten years ago after being told it was a matter of life and death.  It was the hardest thing he ever did.  Needless to say, kicking that camel’s keester would be a dream come true.

Many years ago someone asked me my favorite thing about the coyotes and I said, “They celebrate life.  Sometimes life kicks them around, but they embrace it just the same.  Heartaches, bad breaks, job problems, job triumphs, true love, rotten luck, vast fortune.  Good or bad, they celebrate.”   I like that.

As for my great fortune and success as a painter, no one is more amazed than me.  A simple twist of fate transformed my life, and I can only thank God for the good luck and tremendous blessings I have received.

June, 1986 marks the start of the Coyote Series – a hard, fun, nutty eighteen years of dogs in suits.  For any budding artists out there seeking my advice I would simply say this – never give up, out-work everyone else, and don’t be afraid to take risks.  My art has improved each year because I test my abilities every day.  I hang on to the elements I believe in and toss the rest, continually developing and growing.  In this way I feel I follow the paths of the greats, even if I am painting Coyotes in suits.  Your vehicle may be the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile – but it doesn’t mean your destination can’t be a great one.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

1988    Leslie Levy Gallery Scottsdale, Arizona
1989    Steve Stein Gallery Sherman Oaks, California
1989    Leslie Levy Gallery Scottsdale, Arizona
1989    Degenbala Gallery San Antonio, Texas
1990    Art Gallery Studio 53 New York, New York
1990    Steve Stein Gallery Sherman Oaks, California
1990    Gallery Moya Chicago, Illinois
1991    Art Gallery Studio 53 New York, New York
1991    Centaur Gallery, Las Vegas, Nevada
1991    Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1991    PNC Galleries Washington, D.C
1992    Art Gallery Studio 53 New York, New York
1992    Leslie Levy Gallery Scottsdale, Arizona
1992    Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1992    PNC Galleries Washington, D.C
1993    Art Gallery Studio 53 New York, New York
1993    Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1993    PNC Galleries Washington, D.C
1993    Joan Cawley Gallery Santa Fe, New Mexico
1994    Art Gallery Studio 53 New York, New York
1994    PNC Galleries Washington, D.C
1994    Newbury Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts
1995    Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1995    Emery Fine Art Kalamazoo, Michigan
1996    Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1996    PNC Galleries Washington, D.C
1996    Joan Cawley Gallery Santa Fe, New Mexico
1997    Emery Fine Art Kalamazoo, Michigan
1997    Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1997    Newbury Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts
1998    PNC Galleries Washington, D.C
1998    Hanson Gallery New Orleans, Louisiana
1998    Centaur Gallery Las Vegas, Nevada
1998    Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1999    Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
2000    Off The Wall Gallery Houston, Texas
2000    PNC Galleries Washington, D.C.
2001    Newbury Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts
2002    Contessa Gallery Cleveland, Ohio
2002    Editions Limited Gallery, Indianapolis, Indiana
2002    Off The Wall Gallery Houston, Texas
2002    R. Roberts Gallery Jacksonville, Florida
2003    Atlas Galleries Chicago, Illinois
2003    Blue Gallery Kansas City, Missouri
2003    Contessa Gallery Cleveland, Ohio
2004    Atlas Galleries Chicago, Illinois
2004    C. Anthony Gallery Beaver Creek, Colorado
2004    Contessa Gallery Cleveland, Ohio
2004    Editions Limited Gallery Indianapolis, Indiana
2004    Galerie Züger Santa Fe, New Mexico
2004    Gallery One of Cherry Creek Denver, Colorado
2004    Kenneth Behm Galleries Seattle, Washington
2004    Masters Gallery Vail, Colorado
2004    Off The Wall Gallery Houston, Texas
2004    Peabody Gallery Los Gatos, California
2004    Pop! International New York, New York
2005    Fishers Fine Art Auckland, New Zealand
2005    Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery Sydney, Australia

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

Artexpo – New York 1988-1989-1990-1991-2000-2001-2002-2005-2006
Artexpo – Los Angeles 1987-1988- 1989- 1990-1991
Fine Art Forum – New York 2003- 2004
Sofa – Chicargo  2005
Chicargo Contemporary & Classic 2005
Art Miami 2006

COLLECTIONS

George Brett – Baseball Player
Eric Clapton – Musician
John Cleese – Actor/Comedian
Kevin Costner – Actor
Emilio Joel – Musician
Warren Littlefield – President of NBC
Jason Priestley – Actor
Ozzy Osborne – Musician
John Stamos – Actor
Oliver Stone – Movie Producer/Director
The Pointer Sisters – Singers
Fred “The Hammer” Williams – Football Player/Actor
Bill Withers – Musician
Sam Zell – Real Estate Mogul