As we prepare to re-open our doors at our new location at 47 Bergen St, Recession Art would like to introduce to you a host of new artists that we will be representing this year.
Max Bode, is an illustrator and fine artist who was born and raised in New York City. Aside from having been a Wassaic Project resident and grant recipient in 2012, Bode is also a cartoonist, designer, former art-director at the New Yorker Magazine, and instructor at Pratt institute. He is noteworthy in various creative communities because of his creation of a vast catalogue of material, which includes his smash-hit video game Blast Zone Mega, and his publishing of a three-book comic ‘epic,’ which has been distributed internationally.
Since 2010, Bode has shifted his energies toward his personal artistic practices and away from the editorial world. He remains a consistently pragmatic creator due to an instantly recognizable, interested quality of his personality. Max Bode’s strength as an artist lies in the complexities of his imagination and the ways in which he expresses the amalgamation of information that he retains as a thinker. We are very excited to make a selection of Max Bode’s paintings available for purchase at the new Recession Art store.
The paintings by Bode that are available at Recession Art are among some of his more candidly expressive works. These untitled paintings are works on paper, which were created using gouache, and in one case enamel paint. Unlike some of his more comic-inspired illustrations and design work, Bode’s paintings spotlight the artist’s interest in atmosphere, light, and a fascination with the symbolic language of maps. Bode claims that these kinds of images are similar to his first drawings. These visually enticing pieces reflect a repeated contemplation of composition and form; if viewed as a series, one would notice the references to landscape, and contour mapping as a kind of conceptual constant within these paintings. In many ways these paintings conjure associations with science fiction-related animation, yet remain appealing to a more craft oriented aesthetic, perhaps because these images look dense and contain rich, velvety colors.They are clear executions of simple ideas, which are mildly uncanny, but none the less familiar.
The paintings pictured here, and a number of others in the series, are now available at the new Recession Art store, both framed and unframed, and all at prices below $600. To help you understand a bit more about Max Bode as an artist, I asked him a few questions, and here is how he responded:
“Anthony Tino: When did you begin drawing and what were some of the things that inspired you to start illustrating?
Max Bode: I’ve been drawing since memory became a thing for me; I would draw these complex cities and battle scenes, which when I think about them now, were plans and maps. I’ve not stopped drawing since, and post college I made a career out of it as an illustrator.
AT: Aside from your personal work, you also worked as an art director at the New Yorker magazine. What was that experience like and how do you think that it’s affected your personal practice?
MB: Being an art director was an amazing experience and one that thought me I’m not meant to work behind a desk. I got to work with amazing artists, writers, and editors on a daily basis but after 5 years the monotony of the job started to weigh on me and that’s why I left. In terms of artistic production it was a very productive time for me. I would come come most nights and work on my art practice, because I was deprived of that for the first 10 hours of the day.
AT: You are also the creator of a video game called “Blast Zone Mega.” Where did you get the idea for this game and how did you go about creating it?
MB: BZM came about as a way for me to explore applying my work to new technologies; even though video games had been around for over 30 years, smart devices have made their advent a possibility for more people. I wanted to make a game where the player is the villain and doing unimaginably horrible things, while at the same time the simple old school style somehow softens the blow of what you’re doing. I designed element of the game, and outsourced the programing to a team in Scotland.”
To see more of Max Bode’s work, you can visit his website. I am personally a fan of his “Art Stars” series, particularly “Maurizio Cattelan in Django.” It is pretty obvious that Max Bode not only enjoys making art, but is an avid appreciator and student of everything from comics to interactive media.
Although we’ve given you a glimpse at a few of Max Bode’s paintings, you will need to visit the new Recession Art store to see the rest of them. Be the first to see them during our Grand Re-Opening Party at 47 Bergen St, Brooklyn NY, which will coincide with a photography exhibition featuring Recession Art alumni Danny Ghitis. Along with the paintings of Max Bode, our new store will contain works by returning artists as well as a brand new group of artists, whose work is sure to impress. Be sure to check our blog in the next few weeks to read about our new artists, as well as details related to our re-opening.
Images Courtesy of Max Bode