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.