Max Rixon | Showcase
Art and words: Max Rixon | @maxrixon
When creating artwork I like to think of it as a story, with characters, costumes, a set, and a good plot. I find that my work’s main influencers are Brett Whiteley, Francis Bacon, and my mother, a high school art teacher. Like many of the artists that inspire me, I see myself as a character within my works. For this reason, I wanted to record my life in a similar conceptual way that was both literal and metaphoric to my lived experiences at the time.
I illustrated Coded Discourses with predominantly graphite and ink. During this point in my life I was watching a lot of horror movies and was incredibly motivated by the artistry behind the fake gore I was seeing on screen. Therefore, I wanted to see if I could intimidate my audience in a similar way, yet intrigue them into the story. This piece features an abundance of intricate fine lines and details that allow the viewer to see more elements and subjects in the story the longer they look at it.
Gabriel speaks to Mary & Madonna Trespasses
I was baptised without consent and attended Catholic schools my entire life, yet always disputed the stories I was fed. The work Gabriel speaks to Mary, like the title suggests, explores the biblical story of angel Gabriel visiting the Virgin Mary. I wished to encourage my audience to construct new interpretations of the story.
The next work Madonna Trespasses provokes the same scrutiny to the controversial iconography within Christian art. I composed this multi-media piece in Montmartre, Paris and was inspired after going to the Louvre. I purchased brand new materials and paper stocks and experimented with developing my own distinct style of illustrating. In order to suggest a turmoil unfolding, I concentrated upon creating subtle shapes and line-work within the negative space around my sitters. Concerned that I had overworked this piece, this work is a good example of how I believe all of my artworks are never truly finished.
The banks of the Seine have flooded
I created this piece in an Airbnb in Montmartre, Paris. I wished to create texture around the sketch of the statue, to suggest an atmospheric sense of tension within the space.
Show’s Over was an experimental piece that I created out of boredom. In this digital abstraction, I turned a pencil sketch into a digital vector on Adobe Illustrator, then played with distorting filters to create this warped outcome. I hope to see this come to life in print on a textile of some sorts.
Common People is about a clear power imbalance of two personas. It explores the dynamism of the inner psyche and an ongoing battle with one’s self. I was inspired by my photography series titled Mannequins & Me and reimagined the sitter’s expressions exaggerating the tension between the characters.
Mannequins & Me
Taken on 35mm black and white film in Paddy’s Markets, Haymarket, Ruth Thorne-Thomsen’s Messenger series, where she took photographs of photographs of statues while dancing, is a clear influence. The movement in her process is crucial to the outcome. To replicate this I subtlety moved the photo emulsive paper while exposing it in the dark room.
Runaway is set in my hometown, Tamworth, in the murky Peel River. I think the title, scenery and subject matter in this work makes the meaning obvious so I won’t say any more about it.
Boy & Buoy
This work like Runaway is a good example of the use of juxtaposition and irony within my work. This work again depicts a persona out of their depths.