Who is MAX NEUTRA?
Born 1978 in Venice Beach, CA.
Max Neutra was born in an apartment just across from the Sidewalk Cafe on the boardwalk of Venice Beach. It was not long before his parents began to hear the call of the dessert and so at age six his family moved to an old coal mining town called Madrid in the middle of New Mexico. It was in this small town where Max spent his youth running wild in the arroyos, often coming home at the end of the day with his face blackened from the dust of the the coal hills.
In 1997, Max graduated from an alternative high school program called ACAT (Academy of Communication Arts and Technology) in Santa Fe and followed with a bachelors degree in the sound arts from Expression Center for New Media in the bay area in 2000. Rather than following in the footsteps of his influential modern architect great-grandfather, Richard Neutra, Max pursued his creative passions through experimentation in electronic music and building soundscapes rather than building houses.
Throughout his entire life, Max has always felt driven to create. Most of his school work was decorated with sketches and illustrations, and he left a trail of drawings gifted to friends throughout the years. But it wasn't until 2005 that Max turned to visual art as a career. After an epiphany in a coffee shop, Max had realized that his most natural state was one of creative output, and at that very moment he decided that his calling was to be an artist.
Buying himself some proper art supplies, Max quickly got to work discovering and defining his visual voice. With influences like Ralf Steadman, Gerald Scarfe, and Egon Schiele, he developed a loose and expressive style. He worked in a quick and messy fashion, and soon realized that he did not mind painting in front of an audience. After spending five years painting live on the streets, in galleries, bars, clubs, and festivals in Los Angeles, Max Neutra made a name for himself as one of the city's premier contemporary artists. He has been commissioned by Toyota, Warner Brothers Records, and has recently risen to the international arena through sponsored tours across Europe and India.
Being a self taught artist has allowed Max to develop a style that is distinctly recognizable as his own. Riding the line between mayhem and control, he paints images that are both chaotic and contained, each canvas an arena where chance and skill come together to create a colorful fusion of iconic imagery. Utilizing his distinctive gonzo style, he explores subjects such as the dark side of humanity, the beauty in nature, the fading line between man and machine, and brutal truths we often avoid, all while matching his subjects with the expressive vitality they deserve.
From the artist:
"I attempt to get ahead of myself and let the work be the result of a direct feed from my physiological being. Whether it’s a face depicting an emotion, or abstract shapes, I strive for each painting to be like a signature. Quick and messy. Brave and permanent. Unmistakably written by my hand. Produced by the machine that is my body. Instead of toiling over attempted perfection, I indulge in the imperfections of myself and the world around me, and marvel at the inherent factors of chance that the process provides. Through practicing this approach, a stream of surprises emerge and I am in a constant state of discovery."
"I was at the show you did at the UCLA Hammer Museum, and let me just say, watching you create art was unbelievable. It was definitely an amazing experience." - Andrea Lopez
"Your tormented manic looking characters are a treat for the eye and mind! You can see the influence of the artists you mention on your website but your style is totally your own. ACE!" - Scott Donohue
"Your work is like a punch, its so powerful." - Brandy Batz
"You have a great portfolio! I feel like Saturnine and I adore Mae's Bird Fish. Your Eye Painting series is crazy!!! I love it." - Steph Palallos
"I love the frantic faces you paint, they seem shocked and strained, but absolutely stunning!" - Lisa Oakes
"Very wild and frenetic work. LOVE your background colours and these work so effectively against the black and white work of your super cool characters!! LOVE em!" - Dave Behrens
"You're scaring me a little." - Scott Pascucci