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Max Presneill Main Profile Image

Max Presneill

Los Angeles, USA

Painting, Sculpture • Born in London, UK • Studied at Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Published  13/09/2021

An Outsider's Insider

Artist, Curator, Outlaw Biker, Social Activist.

My paintings: Large, dynamic and colorful abstract paintings, with collage elements, attempting to meld formal concerns and a sense of their own moment more status, with conceptual positions regarding the nature of masculinity, sub-cultural resistance, tribalism, anti-racism, aspects of power/violence and membership/obligation.

The basis for my paintings is an...

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Artist, Curator, Outlaw Biker, Social Activist.

My paintings: Large, dynamic and colorful abstract paintings, with collage elements, attempting to meld formal concerns and a sense of their own moment more status, with conceptual positions regarding the nature of masculinity, sub-cultural resistance, tribalism, anti-racism, aspects of power/violence and membership/obligation.

The basis for my paintings is an intertextual examination of my own mortality, as seen through the merging contradictions of the disparate elements and influences of my life. This interpenetration occurs when the histories of abstract mark making, an ongoing developing iconography and sub-cultural motifs are placed in relationships on the picture plane. Colloquialisms and urban vernacular appear alongside art history, references to Brutalist architecture, comic books, skateboards, motorcycle club life, etc to explore a masculine identity within a transient lifetime. This allows for an extended and negotiated dialogue between ideas of the political and class division, race, sub-cultural resistance and tribalism, via a curatorial-type selection and arrangement on the picture plane.

Max Presneill
Parallax series - Parallax #4 (big red one). 2021. oil, acrylic, spray paint, plastic tape, sticker, metal ornament. 94 x 113 inches

Parallax series - Parallax #4 (big red one). 2021. oil, acrylic, spray paint, plastic tape, sticker, metal ornament. 94 x 113 inches

Parallax #6. 2021. oil, acrylic, spray paint, patch, sticker, metal ornament. 94 x 113

Parallax #6. 2021. oil, acrylic, spray paint, patch, sticker, metal ornament. 94 x 113

Parallax #5. 2021. oil, acrylic, spray paint, plastic tape, sticker, metal ornament. 85 x 110.5 inches

Parallax #5. 2021. oil, acrylic, spray paint, plastic tape, sticker, metal ornament. 85 x 110.5 inches

Parallax #1. 2021. oil, spray paint, acrylic, marker, collage elements on canvas over panel. 63 x 53 inches

Parallax #1. 2021. oil, spray paint, acrylic, marker, collage elements on canvas over panel. 63 x 53 inches

Empire series - MiT#132 (Panem et Circenses - magenta). 2020. oil, acrylic, spray paint, tea, coffee, wine, motor oil, rubber, marker pen, patch, sticker, leather glove, denim, plastic tape, metal ornament skull, security camera on canvas. 72 x 96 inches

Empire series - MiT#132 (Panem et Circenses - magenta). 2020. oil, acrylic, spray paint, tea, coffee, wine, motor oil, rubber, marker pen, patch, sticker, leather glove, denim, plastic tape, metal ornament skull, security camera on canvas. 72 x 96 inches

MiT#133 (PAX - teal). 2020. oil, acrylic, spray paint, tea, coffee, wine, motor oil, rubber, marker pen, patch, sticker, leather glove, denim, plastic tape, metal ornament skull, security camera on canvas. 72 x 96 inches

MiT#133 (PAX - teal). 2020. oil, acrylic, spray paint, tea, coffee, wine, motor oil, rubber, marker pen, patch, sticker, leather glove, denim, plastic tape, metal ornament skull, security camera on canvas. 72 x 96 inches

MiT#134 (Instrumentum Regni - pink). 2020. oil, acrylic, spray paint, tea, coffee, wine, motor oil, rubber, marker pen, patch, sticker, leather glove, denim, plastic tape, metal ornament skull, security camera on canvas. 72 x 96 inches

MiT#134 (Instrumentum Regni - pink). 2020. oil, acrylic, spray paint, tea, coffee, wine, motor oil, rubber, marker pen, patch, sticker, leather glove, denim, plastic tape, metal ornament skull, security camera on canvas. 72 x 96 inches

MiT#135 (Cura Annonae - yellow). 2020. oil, acrylic, spray paint, tea, coffee, wine, motor oil, rubber, marker pen, patch, sticker, leather glove, denim, plastic tape, metal ornament skull, security camera on canvas. 72 x 96 inches

MiT#135 (Cura Annonae - yellow). 2020. oil, acrylic, spray paint, tea, coffee, wine, motor oil, rubber, marker pen, patch, sticker, leather glove, denim, plastic tape, metal ornament skull, security camera on canvas. 72 x 96 inches

Moments in Time series. MiT#10, 64.5 x 84 inches

Moments in Time series. MiT#10, 64.5 x 84 inches

MiT#11, 68 x 92 inches

MiT#11, 68 x 92 inches

STAND. 2021. tire, crutch, handlebars, security camera, zip ties. 56 x 31 x 20 inches

STAND. 2021. tire, crutch, handlebars, security camera, zip ties. 56 x 31 x 20 inches

WEB. 2021. motorcycle exhausts, netting, plastic joints, duct tape, bungy cord, helmet, fake security camera, disco ball. Dimensions variable

WEB. 2021. motorcycle exhausts, netting, plastic joints, duct tape, bungy cord, helmet, fake security camera, disco ball. Dimensions variable

What is it about your studio space that inspires you?

Easy access as it is my garage at home!! I can interrupt myself for dinner without breaking up the studio day significantly :-) And, of course, I feel very much at home there..

What sounds, scents and sights do you encounter while in your studio?

The smell of oil paint. I love it...smells like victory! I always have music playing or a TV show that I can follow by listening rather than watching - which turns out is most of them :-) The sights are a space full of materials, crowded with stimulus, visually busy.

What is your favourite material to work with? How has your use of it evolved throughout your practice?

Oil paint on canvas, hands down. Everything else is just secondary.

What themes do you pursue?

Forms of masculinity in the face of an awareness of one's own death. Obligation and honor in relation to family and friendships, secret codes in male sub-cultural contexts, violence, tribalism, brotherhood.

What advice has had the biggest impact on your career?

Don't let ego get in the way of remembering why you make art in the first place - for people to see and interact with the major concerns that you personally have. Participate.

If you could install your art absolutely anywhere, where would that be?

Tate Britain

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

From another contemporary artist, something by Basquiat, Fiona Rae or Albert Oehlen. Historically, a Rembrandt self-portrait.

If you weren´t an artist, what would you be doing?

Waiting for a conjugal visit from my wife while serving a life sentence in prison! :-) maybe.... :-)

What are your favourite places besides your studio?

Dive bars with friends, MC clubhouses, cinema row-end seats, nite-clubs playing 60's soul, at home with LaLena...


EXHIBITIONS

SOLO

2021

Moments in Time, TWFineArt, Brisbane, Australia

MPFFMP, Patrick Painter Inc gallery, Los Angeles, USA (upcoming)

2020

In Case of Emergency, Rio Hondo College Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

GROUP

2021

Urban Paradise, Shatto Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

2020

Take Your Conscience to the Pawnshop, Terrace Gallery, London, UK

Return to Aus, Galerie Pompom, Sydney, Australia

show all

GALLERIES

Patrick Painter, Inc | https://www.patrickpainter.com/REDZ/artists/2019/presneill_max/index.html

TW Fine Art | https://www.twfineart.com/collections/artist-max-presneill

GCC Arte Contemporaneo | http://www.galeriacasacolon.mx/artista/max-presneill

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Max Presneill is an artist and a curator based in Los Angeles. He is currently the Director and Head Curator of the Torrance Art Museum, with particular curatorial interests in artist-led projects, emerging art, new models for curatorial methodologies and an international scope for partnerships, exchanges and building artistic communities. CBS television named him in the top 8 Best Art Curators in Los Angeles 2015 and Blouin Modern Painters magazine included him in the 2018 Top 25 Curators to Watch from around the world, alongside colleagues from the Guggenheim, MOMA, Whitney, Tate, LACMA and other institutions. He is the Founder of Durden and Ray (2009 - current), an artists collaborative group and gallery in Los Angeles, as well as Founder and Curatorial Director of ARTRA Curatorial, an independent, voluntary, curatorial projects management team which organizes international exhibition exchanges. Previously he was the Founder and Director of the alternative space, Raid Projects, an influential gallery which also had an international Artist-In-Residency program (1998-2008). He instigated and ran the Co/Lab Art Fair for alternative spaces (2011 and 2012) and the MAS Attack events (2015-18).

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