The “Colorado crush” is a well known name among graffiti festivals, celebrating Denver’s vibrant art scene time and time again. Now in its sixth year, a new crop of incredible installations have hit the Denver area. Among them is Max Kauffman’s, in which the artist covered an entire house. “My work for the last few years has been going deeper and deeper into an architectural realm, inspired by concepts of house versus home, of sanctuary, of solace from the chaos of the world around us.”
Oakland based painter Max Kauffman (covered here) seeks to find peace in his soft, loose watercolors that reflect chaos. This journey often leads him to colorful, abstract structures like houses, which he calls his “sanctuaries”. In his artist statement, he says, “The world I portray is sometimes yours and mine and sometimes a more magical place – I call it future primitive. It is a potential path or maybe just a way to reconnect with more pure ideas of culture from our past. It is knowing empires crumble, but accepting the growth that emerges in the aftermath.” His latest series of paintings for “Beautiful Squalor”, now on view at Parlor Gallery in New Jersey, seems to find them in a state of visual disintegration.
Max Kauffman created a sprawling mural filled with folk art motifs for LeQuiVive Gallery’s mural project in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood recently. Though he typically works small-scale with media such as watercolor and acrylic, Kauffman went big for his latest piece, creating a triptych that spans an entire city block. Loosely rendering the forms of birds, flowers, and houses, Kauffman uses figurative elements as a jumping off point to explore organic patterns and textile-inspired designs. Despite his busy imagery, he keeps his color palette minimal to give his figures room to breath.
Daryll Peirce’s new body of paintings is dominated by a strange, organic substance. Is it the folds of the brain’s grey matter? A visualization of a molecular structure? An unearthly substance from the cosmos? These questions begin to pop up as you realize that Peirce is attempting to access something primordial and universal. When these shapes evoke atoms or asteroids, he reminds us that we are incredibly complex beings yet are still so minuscule in the grand scheme of the universe. He will be showing with Max Kauffman (full disclosure: Kauffman sometimes contributes to this blog) and Larissa Grant in their show “Going Native” at Campfire Gallery in San Francisco, opening on June 28.
Opening February 28 at Maxwell Colette Gallery in Chicago, “The Ballasted Frequencies” is a diverse group show featuring paintings with a psychedelic bend. Artists like Dima Drjuchin (whom we featured in HF Vol. 32), Stacey Rozich (HF Vol. 27), Max Kauffman, Cannon Dill, and many others will be showing new paintings inspired by illustration, folk art, and other traditionally lowbrow genres. According to curator Ian “Hydeon” Ferguson, “Ballasted frequencies are heavy cerebral waves of narrative perceptions riding on analogous thought frequencies. These wavelengths are comprised of deeper visual energy conceived in the hull of the mind’s eye.” The idea echoes the trippy narratives that are in some of the works. Take a look at our preview below.
Curated by Max Kauffman (full disclosure: Kauffman occasionally contributes to Hi-Fructose), the upcoming group show, “Neu Folk Revival,” at LeQuiVive Gallery in Oakland celebrates the handmade qualities of art. From Souther Salazar’s kaleidoscopic watercolors to Zio Ziegler’s Cubist-inspired compositions to Katy Horan’s obsessive depictions of textiles, the work in the show draws from a variety of folk art traditions and puts them into a contemporary context. The artists in this show eschew perfectionism, instead relishing the happy accidents of their creative processes. “Neu Folk Revival” will be on view October 5 through November 2. Take a look at a preview of the show after the jump.