“One afternoon, years ago while I was working at 940 Royal, @maxseckel , quietly wandered into the gallery. We struck up a conversation about some of the paintings on the walls and I could sense Max was probably an artist. Im used to artists submitting to me constantly. However, Max was different. He played it cool and didn’t say a word. When I asked, he admitted he was a painter as if it was something he wanted to stay hidden. When he finally showed me pictures, without hesitation I burst out something like “Holy fuck man, why didn’t you tell me you were this good?!” I was floored. There was no hesitation or doubt. I knew Max was a great painter and I knew I wanted to show his work. It resonated immediately, like the feeling of discovering new music that felt familiar and fresh and you knew you wanted more.
His folk-inspired landscapes captivate the essence of the neighborhoods he portrays while celebrating their flaws. The piles of random objects outside crooked shotgun houses.The meandering sun bleached Mardi Gras beads that have probably been snagged on the same damn fence for months. The empty beer bottles used as candle holders at roadside alters on a humid as fuck summer night. The train tracks on Saint Claude Avenue and faded ACAB tags on the boxcars, as you’re waiting on your bike for them to pass by. An endless swamp of potholes, orange cones, blue tarps, rock piles, dice, masks and scattered detritus. Max transforms these mundane objects into an iconography of acrylic talismans and places them under a hazy Deep South Montana 94 induced evening sky. His paintings evoke a psychedelic sense of the nostalgia and rich chaos that is New Orleans. That same deep dark energy, noise and magic that makes so many of us fall in love and fall apart over and over and over here.
I hope these paintings call to you like a siren song. Beckoning you to step inside and dream of this madness we call home. I hope that same feeling resonates within you and it leaves you wanting more. “
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Max Seckel is an artist and printmaker living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana. Max graduated from the University of Delaware in the Spring of 2009 and moved to Philadelphia the following fall. Volunteered briefly at Second State Press(2010-2011) before shortly thereafter joining and keeping a studio at artist collective Space 1026 (2011-2014). Then moved south to New Orleans in the fall of 2014 where he began volunteering at the New Orleans Community Printshop and Darkroom (2014-Current) and also maintains a personal studio where he paints and also produces small book and print editions via his Risograph machine.
My work aims to explore my own reactions to and perception of the world surrounding me. Informed by memories, dreams, conversations, and just plain looking around and being I assemble a world constructed of absurdities and references. Objects are clustered together and arranged with little respect to context, intending to create a sense of wonder and confusion as the viewer works to make sense of the situation presented.