Markus Pierson was born in 1961 and raised in the small farming town of Grand Ledge, Michigan, where his father owned a popular restaurant. A self-proclaimed reckless “racer”, Markus was the youngest and most challenging of the four Pierson children.
While a student, an encouraging art teacher swung wide the door to Markus’ talent and profoundly moved him. However, the Grand Ledge art scene was somewhat lacking, leading Markus to take on a number of odd jobs before accidentally stumbling upon accounting as a means to making a living. After a near-fatal bout with Crohn’s Disease in early 1985, he declared that the accountant was “dead” and in his place was a man pursuing his dream of becoming a successful artist.
The Coyote Series was born in June of 1986, after Markus heard the Joni Mitchell song, “Coyote.” He loved it, played it often and memorized the words. The focus of the song, a guy referred to as “Coyote,” is a reckless, footloose Casanova type fellow – Pierson aspired to be the carefree romancer described in those lyrics. Then he did something he’d never done before or since: Markus made a drawing of a song.
Over the next six months Markus painted billboards by day for a living and drew his Coyotes into the night. To the wall above his desk he taped these words, “No one works this hard and this smart – and has it come to nothing.” Within a year, he walked out of Artexpo in New York City with commitments from 110 art galleries who sought to represent his work.
In the decades that followed, Pierson’s work has evolved to include a vast array of paintings, drawings, sculpture, hand-pulled serigraphs and original found-object works. Over time, the metaphor of the Coyote has taken on a more poignant and profound purpose. At its essence, the work urges us to pursue our dreams, wear our hearts on our sleeves, and to celebrate all of life’s ups and downs. He has had nearly one hundred solo exhibitions in galleries across America, Australia and New Zealand, while also being featured at various prestigious international fairs including Art Miami, Artexpo New York, Sofa Chicago, Chicago Contemporary & Classic, and palmbeach3. Markus has amassed a collector base which includes Heads of State, major corporations and celebrities worldwide.
Markus’ wife and muse is artist, Sher Pierson. The two live and work in a converted loft in Kansas City, Missouri. “There’s no doubt in my mind that my success has more to do with luck than talent, more to do with stubbornness than vision, more to do with ignorance than insight, but the fact remains that I pursued my dream and attained it against staggering odds. I say this now to anyone who will listen: even if I had failed, it would have been worth it. Better to face a brutal truth than to grow old wondering what might have been.”Markus Pierson