Markus Pierson

Sculpture Surrealism


You know, I wasn't always an artist. In fact, I was a journeyman bookkeeper when I almost kicked the bucket back 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 10 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 $100.00. 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 N.B.C. president Warren Littlefield to Kevin Costner, from the C.E.O. of Exxon to John Cleese, from billionaire Sam Zeil 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 camels 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, 1996 was the ten year anniversary of the start of the Coyote Series. A hard, fun, nutty decade of dogs in suits. For any budding artists out there seeking my advise I would simply say this: never give up, out-work eveiyone 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, it doesn't mean your destination can't be a great one.


Warmest Regards, Markus Pierson

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