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100 Colorado Creatives 4.0: Max Kauffman

Max Kauffman, "Codex."
Max Kauffman, "Codex."
Courtesy of Max Kauffman

#29: Max Kauffman

Max Kauffman seems to always have one foot in one place and the other foot in another as an artist: commercial/not commercial, graphic art/fine art, outdoors painting walls or archiving art in a hand-printed booklet, modern world/timeless world. But as a chill creative who likes the outdoors as much as he loves the big city, Kauffman has a grassroots, ordinary-guy, DIY quality that keeps all of it in balance, whatever the project—and no project is off-limits to his practice. Kauffman took a quick minute away from his work to selectively answer the 100CC questionnaire; what you see is what you get.

Max Kauffman in the gallery with his work.
Max Kauffman in the gallery with his work.
Courtesy of Max Kauffman

What (or who) is your creative muse?

Music is my biggest muse. I think a large component of my style (whatever that is) comes from listening to improvisational/experimental sounds for the last twenty years. 

What’s the best thing about the local creative community in your field?

At times Denver has the best support network for creatives that I’ve ever seen! There’s a style and ethos here that I’ve found nowhere else. There seems to be a growing enthusiasm from newcomers to the area, who are attending art and other cultural events. Our museums and institutions are constantly upping the playing field.

Are trends worth following? What’s one trend you love and one that you hate?

Trends aren't worth anything. It’s just something that happens. That being said, I still can’t get enough of succulents as the new houseplant and as the new global standard in paintings.

Max Kauffman, "New Tape."
Max Kauffman, "New Tape."
Courtesy of Max Kauffman

You’ve come this far in life. What’s still on your bucket list?

Finding THAT color combo I can lean on for the next five years.

Denver, love it or leave it?

Those mountains. I have to drive out there once a week to maintain. 

What's on your agenda in the coming year?

Andrew Hoffman and I have a really fun show opening the second weekend in May for our ephemeral gallery, Shorts, and a residency we're doing in late June. Both are taking place at Zuni 49 Studios (shout out to Birdseed Collective). Also in May, I'm participating in a fantastic show at the Arvada Center, In Sight On Site: Murals. Other than that, I'm hoping to work on my new favorite side mediums, linen painting and bronze sculpture, and will be moving outdoors on some mural/installation-type things. Call me.

Who do you think will (or should) get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?

Tom Bond.

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Max Kauffman, "Refreshment Device."
Max Kauffman, "Refreshment Device."
Courtesy of Max Kauffman

Alter Salon No 1, a large local-artist showcase curated by Andrew Hoffman and Max Kauffman for Shorts, opens on Saturday, May 12, from 1 to 8 p.m. at Zuni 49 Studios, 4890 Zuni Street, and runs through June 8. More info on Facebook.

Max Kauffman is one of twenty-plus Denver mural painters who will be creating wall works for In Sight On Site: Murals inside the Arvada Center Galleries from May 29 through June 24. Visit the center to watch the works in-progress, and come back to see the finished murals at the opening reception, Thursday, June 28, from 6 to 9 p.m.; the exhibit runs through August 26 at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada. Learn more online.

Learn more about Max Kauffman and his work online at his website and on Instagram. Learn more about Shorts online.

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