Art ID Work Shows Overview Music Bio
Max began showing, winning prizes for, and selling his art at age 8. He was a seasoned veteran of art exhibitions at the local and state level by the time he entered the studio art program at the University of Chicago.

He participated in art fairs in California in the 1970s, but after spending time at CalArts, he went rogue, staging guerrilla shows and public interventions in Los Angeles and San Francisco between 1979 and 1983.

In 1984, he was scheduled to share a two-person show with sculptor Dana Duff at the trendy Turcotte Gallery in Los Angeles. But as he became aware of prehistoric cultures in the American West, he became disenchanted with the narrow role of art in Anglo-European societies, and when the show was cancelled due to overbooking, he turned his back on the gallery scene and began exploring the desert wilderness for clues and inspiration.

Curious Kumquat: Sumi Ink Brush Drawings
2013-2014

Art show at Curious Kumquat

Curious Kumquat is the premier restaurant in Max's hometown. Work shown was from the series New Work 2013-2014, Emergent Forms, Signs of Life, and New Heralds.

Curious Kumquat show

Curious Kumquat show

Mimbres Hot Springs Ranch: Pictures of Knowledge
2006

Art show at Mimbres Hot Springs Ranch

The Ranch is a pioneering intentional community founded by scientists and other professionals in the early 1970s. Max led two participatory workshops in his Pictures of Knowledge project, using art to explore the foundations of human knowledge.

Pictures of Knowledge at Mimbres Hot Springs Ranch

Pictures of Knowledge at Mimbres Hot Springs Ranch

Terra Incognita Loft
1981-1989

Max's San Francisco home and studio was the center of a vibrant arts community for nine years. His experimental work was on display at dozens of public events there, ranging from multimedia art extravaganzas to concerts and art/science powwows. The last showing of his work was at a concert less than a month before the loft was destroyed in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake.

Art at Terra Incognita Loft

"People Who Know Rico" on display in the loft's public space in 1984.

Art at Terra Incognita Loft

Large-format archival photo print of a wall-size multimedia piece created for the cancelled Turcotte Gallery show, on display in the loft's public space in 1984.

CalArts Main Gallery: Taking Responsibility for Art
1983

CalArts Main Gallery

Although Max was never a registered student at CalArts, his friends arranged for this piece to be included in a group show of student work. "Taking Responsibility for Art" was a participatory connect-the-dots drawing of the Marlboro Man, 5' tall by 15' wide, which was enthusiastically completed by the crowd at the show.

Taking Responsibility for Art

CalArts Main Gallery: Didactyl Brothers Salute the Olympics
1983

Didactyl Brothers Salute the Olympics

Max and his friend Mark Norris, a CalArts BFA and MFA student, working as Dartaigne and Daryl Didactyl, installed three monumental guerrilla art shows in the Main Gallery between 1979 and 1983.

This gallery-length show of life-size drawings went up after Los Angeles was selected as venue for the Summer Olympics. A Girl Scout tour of the school was scheduled shortly afterward, and the Dean, who hoped to become Olympic Arts coordinator, offered to buy two drawings if the Dides would take the show down immediately.

SFAI Diego Rivera Gallery: Didactyl Brother & Sister
1981

Diego Rivera Gallery

SFAI student Tiare Ferrari had recently become a Didactyl Sister, and late one night, she sweet-talked a security guard into unlocking the school's main gallery, which currently hosted an exhibition of massive hunks of cast iron on wheels by sculptor Chris Wormald.

For the next several hours, Max and Tiare created and hung a series of pastel drawings on the otherwise empty walls, and performed improvised music on the Wormald sculptures.

Didactyl Brother & Sister at the Diego Rivera Gallery

Didactyl Brother & Sister at Diego Rivera Gallery

CalArts Main Gallery: Didactyl Brothers Salute the Space Shuttle
1981

Didactyl Brothers Salute the Space Shuttle

The Dides used the Main Gallery to honor the groundbreaking inaugural flight of Space Shuttle Columbia in a series of large felt-marker and pastel drawings demonstrating their trademark irreverent yet wistful approach.

Didactyl Brothers Salute the Space Shuttle

San Francisco Financial District: Terra Incognita Performance
1981

Max's Terra Incognita band began as both an experimental music collective and performance art group.

Target Video SF: ArtAbuse
1980

The Future of Postmodernism poster

Shortly after moving to San Francisco, Max responded to a zine ad for an anti-art show at Target Video's legendary studio in the Mission. He became an organizer of the show and contributed this conceptual piece, beginning with a fake ad distributed to the press and all the city's principal galleries and collectors, and consisting of a square mirror, mounted at face level, beside the door of the studio during the show. The opening turned into a huge party, with attendees taking selfies in Max's mirror.

The Future of Postmodernism

CalArts Mezzanine: Four Philosophers
1980

Max had minored in philosophy at the University of Chicago and Stanford. Inspired by a conceptual exhibition of drawings and texts by then-MFA student Stephen Prina in a gallery across the hall, he installed these sketches and texts celebrating some of his philosophical friends and mentors, and was filmed in 16mm by Elizabeth Menetrey.

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