Desperado 1 Painting by Max Neutra

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Shot of C.A.V.E. Gallery before opening
Flier for the show

Art Description

Painting: Acrylic, Paper, Wood on Wood, Paper, Other.

One of three Desperados. These large figures are cut out of wood and “float” about an inch from the wall, the shape casting a subtle shadow (as you might see in the pic). Their size and iconic shape leave a striking impression in person. Each Desperado was created employing three different techniques. The hat portion features the natural grain of the wood, and subtle shading that was achieved with light washes and sanding. The face portion was created by meticulously constructing the features using scraps of posters taken from the streets of Berlin. The shirts are more traditional paint on wood. Although they may appear to be three separate pieces (hat, face, shirt), they are all on the same piece of cut out wood, making for a sturdy, yet surprisingly light weight piece of art. These were created for a solo show I called Crossing The Streams at C.A.V.E. Gallery in Venice. Here is my statement from the show, perhaps the best was to learn about their inspiration.

“2015 was a year filled with big changes for me. Shortly after making the tough decision to move back to the town we grew up in after 15 years away, my wife and I discovered that we would also be having our first child.

So, when asking myself what I would like to express in my fourth show at C.A.V.E. Gallery, naturally the new perspectives that fatherhood and a change of environment can bring came to mind. But once I started to work, I realized that there is an interesting elastic pull of my old self at play with the inevitable transformation that I am going through.

Yes, dramatic shifts are afoot, but I can tell that I am still straddling both the old and the new. Fifteen years in LA has it’s lasting effects, and it is easy to feel these effects against the contrast of our new experiences. The wide open spaces and stillness of the desert of New Mexico bring into focus the energy and vibrancy of Los Angeles, and the sudden responsibility for the wellbeing of another human life certainly makes things interesting for someone who has thus far lived a life of fierce independence.

I decided to celebrate and explore this temporary transitional period. Before I shed the high RPMs of LA all together, let’s see what happens when I apply brutal and sophisticated urban aesthetics to romanticized southwestern themes. Before I lose the innocence of being childless, let’s see what happens when I frame wild unpredictability with stoic stability. It is as if I am attempting to put my finger on the ever elusive “now” in the midst of the turbulent waters of change where the streams of what has been and what will be intersect. Let’s see what happens when we play here, in the crossing of the streams.”



Desperado 1

Max Neutra

United States


Size: 35 W x 47 H x 1 in

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