Max Key, artist statement:
Gaud is good. Gaud is great. For several years now
I have been studying dated interior design for its excessive patterns,
forced colors, false allure, and plastic tackiness. The definition of
gaudy reads as “reserved
for the tasteless." Taste
and beauty are subjective. It is here where I have found a profound influence
for my current paintings. These have forced me to reacquaint myself with Art
History; I look back at past trends, investigate what colors represent different
eras of design and fashion, and research ornamentation found in other periods— all
for the sake of making large and loud paintings.
With affection for landscape painting and the still life, I begin the
process by presenting a flat or shallow patterned space that resembles
a kind of interior/exterior wallpaper. The pattern usually represents
something pleasurable while the figure ground usually supports a tangled
horticulture of frustration. I force the subject matter—birds, flowers and trees—to
interact with one another in a humanistic way reflecting ones experience
within a time of absurdity. Trees bleed, smoke, feed and deprive. Birds
lose their heads. Flowers become more like cancerous forms and sexual
toys often engaged in spring time pornography.
Everyday we are bombarded with commercial saturation—fed by death,
disease, societal pressure, corruption, and war. I feel these busy
and packed spaces visually represent our cultures pining for more information
and more stimulation, perfectly.