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Max Kauffman - Ghosts of Industry



Max Kauffman
Denver, CO
(812) 360.5057
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I hail from a place called the middle. I grew up trying to exorcise all things silly or serious as they meandered and mingled in my imagination by engaging in unprotected doodling. Originally from Chicago, I was sculpted by South Bend, IN. While I lived in semi-rural Indiana, I constantly combed the streets of SBC via skateboard. This unique juxtaposition of scenery and society incubated my gestational creativity. I left the nest to attend Arizona State in 2000, and in 2004 I received a B.F.A. with a concentration in ceramics, and a minor in anthropology. I now reside in Denver, which is rather great.

My work emphasizes color, line, and texture. These stylized aspects are the foundation of every piece, and are the very essence of how I convey a message or idea. My technique is linear, but begins with color. There is multiplicity present in the process- chaos and cleanliness merging with thought-out meticulous line work, paired with stream of consciousness flow, and a stark reality with tinges of a dreamtime within (or vice versa).

Thematically I focus on dualism by scouring both poles of an idea, an argument, or a struggle. Futuristic struggles are common in my pieces; good vs. evil, man vs. machine, machine vs. your mother, nature vs. mankind. I present and imagine the future in two differing ways: as a desolate shell devoid of life, or as a Utopian affair where man and nature coexist. Multiples compound the message of unity, the way a group of birds can become a flock - a collective - many things becoming a whole.

Inspiration emerges from a plethora of media and cultures including video games from the late 80’s and early 90’s, comic books, and cartoons. Music is extremely influential, especially the spontaneity of a good live show. I enjoy the structural progression of song - the flow, segue, the breakdown are all inspirational, and drive my creations like a libido set free by alcoholic libations.

Artistically, the stylized renderings and hieroglyphs of the Mayans and the Egyptians, the patterning and skewed perception of Escher, and the fusion of nature and machine by Geiger have influenced my technique. There is a narration to each piece that is a nod to my love for history. I am intrigued by evolution, as a result of my anthropological studies. In my art I examine and create unspeakable new creatures, dead ends, and traits lost hundreds of years ago. I am a semi-urban crypto zoologist, with the refined exterior of a twenty-something skateboarder type, and I think my art speaks for itself.

Pictures and more information available at