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Drunken Giant, 1996
acrylic on mixed media
100" x 72" x 20"
Pollock's Cock, 1995
acrylic on mixed media
30" x 23" x 10"

For work with a serious cerebral intent, the paintings of David Maxim have a powerful visceral impact. There's a creative violence that emanates from them, an erotic charge. It is impossible to miss the S&M elements, impressions of cages and bondage, a collage of real masks and boots and bulging jockstraps.


But Maxim does much more than exult in the cult of the macho. His art perpetuates the masculine stereotype while at the same time challenging it. It is fraught with contradiction. Spattered paint drips down the canvas like tears on the pages of a letter, or maybe cum on the wall of a glory hole. Odysseus, mighty hero of the Trojan War, is shown, not in triumph, but in his moment of greatest weakness.


According to the artist, these are images of "power in confinement." In exploring the dichotomy of the "weak hero" self- identity becomes more fluid. Ropes serve as a metaphor with a universal meaning. We are all under the control of a force more powerful than even our most potent dreams or urgent desires.


Except for Einstein. Out of the ropes of human bondage he's fashioned a vehicle, and he flies it into the light. In freeing himself from conventional thinking he achieved immortality. But Maxim portrays this hero of the mind riding a vibrating 12 foot-long penis. Not even the frame can contain its energy. Does Einstein hang onto a beacon of light or a cork ready to pop? Does creativity flow from the mind or the body? We are led full circle, realizing that ultimately there is no difference.


The Divide, 1994
Acrylic on mixed media
and canvas.
118" x 76" x 26"

Odysseus Weeps
, 1996
Acrylic on wood, fabrics,
rope, metal fittings,
and canvas.
100" x 72" x 26"

Death of the Hero, 1991
Acrylic on wood, burlap,
welder's helmet, metal
fittings, and canvas.
118" x 76" x 26"




Einstein, 1995
Acrylic on mixed media and canvas. 100" x 144" x 22"

For more on David Maxim's
work, please see the
Essay by Nicole Blunt.
Hand, 1995
Acrylic on wood, fabric,
metal fittings, rope, and canvas
100" x 72" x 26"

A full color catalog of David Maxim's Heroes and Giants
is available for $10 (US) plus shipping.
contact QAR if you'd like to purchase a copy.