New York-based photographer Max Snow has made a distinct departure in his new series of work, eliminating the camera entirely and focusing instead on sculpture and collage. Far removed from the documentary photography he set out with in 2008, when he first started delving into the weird worlds of Latin gangsters, Scandinavian black metal bands and Kentucky’s Ku Klux Klan members, Snow is now examining the antiquated image of female hysteria in a series of skeletal sculputes and haunting, Hitchcockian collages. Here Dazed gets an exclusive look at the new work, and chats to the artist about his decision to put down the camera for a while.
You're from and based in NY. How does the city inform your work?
I don’t feel very inspired by New York City to be honest, but I have lived here most of my life. I sometimes wish that I had not been born here and that I could experience it for the first time as an adult. It doesn’t hold much wonder for me and I find that I am mostly inspired when I travel.
Tell us about your new work? How does it differ from what you've done before?
I have been working for some time on a new body of work titled Please Please Please! which will be shown at The Fireplace Project in East Hampton. The subject is hysteria. It is a departure from prior work mostly in that my previous work has been primarily photography based and here there is none. The series is comprised of collage, works on canvas, and sculpture. These are all mediums I have experimented with in the past but never so heavily.
What inspired you to expand into using collage and sculpture? Were you starting to feel that there were limitations to photography?
I always made collage. Since I was a child I would cut things out of comics and magazines. It was long enough ago that I remember bringing scissors onto the plane and working during flight. It has just never been something that I shared. There are certainly limitations to photography especially with a budget and recently I have had grander stories that I wanted to share.
Do you still consider yourself a photographer first and foremost?
It is the medium that I am most familiar with. So I suppose so, yes. I feel that may be changing though. I find myself wanting to work more and more with other processes. I recently directed my first small video. Something I have always wanted to do. To make the pictures start to move has been a desire of mine for a long time but it was an intimidating step. I finally jumped off that cliff and I am very excited about it.
Your new work deals with female hysteria. What inspired that topic?
Hysteria has been something I feel I have been surrounded by my entire life. In my work I mostly depict female subjects but I don’t mean to limit the scope of the work solely to the female sex. I simply prefer to work with the female form.
Which artists do you admire?
It always changes but right now it is Caravaggio, Mark Rothko, Paul McCarthy and Duane “The Rock” Johnson.
What will your summer residency at the Surf Lodge involve?
I have been working quite a bit with the Surf Lodge. It began as something small, a residency, and then it just grew and grew. I designed a capsule collection of clothing for Surf Lodge based primarily on my work with collage. I will be curating shows there throughout the summer and I will be working there in a small studio. When I first met the owner, Jayma Cardoso, I immediately liked her and I think we fed off each others energy and what began as something small grew into something bigger.
What's next for you?
It’s hard to say, I am always working on something, I rarely sit down. Plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead.