It's Okay To Be Ugly, Sometimes.
My work begins its life through a series of semi-automatic processes involving the use of materials in a series of self-imposed ‘accidents’. Some of these processes might result in: haphazard washes, throwing of clay or paint at canvases, and pouring ink in order to start from randomness, from disorder. It’s important to start with this thrown-ness, to invite a space where association can happen, to create a space to impose the self, or draw from a subconscious space. Much like Rorschach tests in psychology, I am trying to draw out associations from the unconscious, or subjective perception. The results of this process usually results in the finding of a figure or situation, and by studying, I am able to pull from my own personal narrative and use it to create a space which talks about introspection and the abjectness of being human. I gravitate towards a variety of conceptual concerns in my work: sexuality, ego vs. soul, and power dynamics in relationships. My work is also informed by media from my childhood, such as cartoons, stop motion animation movies, and Dr. Suess, that gives the work a twisted, recognizably cartoon-like feel. This feeling creates a situation that comforts me with a sense of childhood nostalgia, while at the same time confronting the viewer with themes that might involve both the grotesque and the playful—hopefully allowing them to reminisce about their own childhoods with feelings of nostalgia, while still questioning the underlining meaning of how one deals with life.
Maxwell Mittman was born in Ventura, California, grew up in North Jersey. He recieved his Bachelors of Fine Arts from Montclair State University, in 2014. In 2018, Maxwell received his Masters of Fine Arts in Ceramics from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Maxwell is currently working and residing in beautiful Southern Florida.
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