Marcel Dzama was born in 1974 in Winnipeg, where he received his BFA from the University of Manitoba in 1997. Though best known for his drawings and watercolors, he also creates dioramas, collages, large-scale polyptychs, and films.
Dzama’s works are at once playful, ironic, morbid, and whimsical. He draws heavily from Dadaism and Surrealist film, citing Marcel Duchamp as his one of his greatest sources of inspiration. Though at first glance, they seem like children’s book illustrations, upon closer inspection they reveal themselves to be unsettlingly macabre and strangely humorous. Despite their dark qualities, the images are infused with personal sentiment and they exude a sense of warm intimacy through their small scale and simple, uncluttered composition.
In 2016, Dzama designed the stage and costumes for the New York City Ballet’s production of The Most Incredible Thing, demonstrating his forays into fields outside of the immediate art world. His works can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Tate Gallery (London), and the Guggenheim Museum (New York). Dzama lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.