Waiting at the Gates
New Works by Maxx Feist w/ Collaborations
How do we greet inevitable change? With fear or courage? Resistance or acceptance? Grief or joy?
In Maxx Feist’s upcoming gallery show, an array of fantastical creatures wait at the gates of unfolding change. Some crouch and shield themselves. Some are ready for battle. The difference between predator and prey is not always clear.
These are the characters of a vividly imagined underworld where the whimsical merges with the macabre. Visitors will encounter otherworldly beasts, bejeweled skeletons, and nameless but oddly familiar animals in the series of dynamic, richly decorative paintings that depict the sinister and threatening bound up with the gentle, the tender, and the brave.
A lifelong association with the punk and metal scene and its ethos is the foundation of Maxx’s work. “Punk has been perceived as angry, menacing, and harsh, but that’s only the armor,” says Feist. “The hardness on the surface is there to protect and preserve what’s underneath. People who are sensitive, more affected by things, need more armor.”
Feist’s characters are creepy and endearing, unfamiliar but strangely comforting, often funny and sly. They invite the viewer to find the dark humor in the light, as well as the beauty in the darkness.
The exhibition will feature 20 paintings, including selected collaborative works. Collaborators include Asheville artists Jason Krekel, Justin Rabuck, Andy Herod, Amanda Lee Seckington, Noah Prinsen, Nathaniel Roney, Marissa Zarrabzadeh.
Maxx Feist is a self-taught artist from Asheville, NC. Maxx’s work seeks to connect the cerebral with the visual, negotiating a balance between the dark and the light. Feist’s work has featured in galleries across North Carolina and features currently at The Horse and Hero, and ZaPow Gallery in downtown Asheville. With elements of pop, lowbrow, and folk art, Maxx explores the intersections of the whimsical and the macabre; it was recently described as “phantasmagorical” by the New York Daily News. Working primarily with acrylics on wood and canvas, Feist’s vibrant, illustrative paintings present underworld subject matter in dynamic arrangements, adorned in warm, decorative elements. After many years of sketching in notebooks, Maxx began painting 10 years ago and has been doing so nearly every moment since.