Santa Fe, New Mexico based artist Max Lehman instills humor and playfulness into his surreal ceramic sculptures of ancient characters. Like artifacts of his youth, his whimsical versions of South American pre-Columbian gods, ghosts, and other creatures embody everything that the artist grew up on and loves, including 1950s advertisements, cartoons, graffiti, and punk rock music. Perhaps there is no better description of his work than the title of his next exhibition, “Gods + Goop + Gobbledygook”, opening at Stranger Factory in New Mexico on January 8th.
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.