Born in 1992, Max Freund lives and works in Vienna, Austria.
His work unifies cross-cultural sign and image systems that modulate the hieroglyphics of our time. Representations are transformed into pictograms, questioning the resonance of imagery and interrogating the expanding index. Through paraphrases, metaphors and symbols, which resolve themselves from abstraction and take shape if necessary, figures and surfaces move in a volatile dialogue. It is a search for coexistence and multivalence, a poetic attempt at a multi-perspectival vision.
The series of works focus on the ambiguous issues of aesthetics, anthropocene ideas and socio-cultural insecurities. The contradictions of current emotional states fluctuate in the enigmatically constructed compositions. All works are moments – fields of tension, which correlate with each other and with the viewer. Dubious puns and references to music and media culture seep into the Zeitgeist, accompanied by fiction, humour, taboo and resignation. The surface of the canvas becomes a skin that shows its limits.
The classic canvas is used together with other textiles, such as bed sheets, towels, clothing, tarpaulins and upholstery, as a background and painting surface. The reassignment of the surface and the frequent jumping of the frame are revisions of the central haptic state. They move away from the narrative of visual space and aim to affect the intuitive dynamics of image recognition.
Similarly, the meticulous collection and redefinition of material is crucial to his process. This allows the artist to look for the potential and detail in what appears to be unobtrusive. This is why he builds up an archive: papers, books, photographs, used fabrics, remnants of everyday objects – finds that are placed in an original sorting system. The autonomy of the material and the nonchalance of being are considered through artistic reuse. The artist’s work is an organic expansion of fragments, with the possibility of generating new cross-references and investigating the reasons for his own presence.