MAXIM (Maxim Havlicek) in his studio, Downtown Los Angeles
To me, paintings are my testament to the world we live in - its crudeness and beauty, its freedoms and indoctrinations. My large-scale, extremely textured, and sculpted paintings are a direct manifestation of my internal vying to find higher meaning and order in our human character.
I create contemporary art that encapsulates my vision of one’s quest for finding the ultimate truth and all the obstacles and arguments one would have to endure on such a journey. Myths against facts, religions against science. Primordial versus modern, and most of all, the conception and meaning of the one constant that defines and limits us all the same - time.
I often lay down the paint upon the canvas-absent from my visual direction- I have visions of my work before I start materializing them onto the surface. In truth, it feels as if I can look into a different dimension or rifts in time. At times, the brushes interfere in the creative process, and my bare hands must become one with the painting. In such instances, there is nothing between my cells and those of the painting. That creates a direct portal into the worlds that I envision. I love feeling my hands, my fingers all throughout the manifestation of my work of art. The recording of such artistry isn’t just the paint set upon the canvas, but the traces of the energy of my very being. The urgent streaks of riddled calligraphy that run across the massive textured base, like rivers run over mountains, speak a universal language of our origin. It records the wisdom of the universe. It reveals the past, makes the present, and allows for the future.
The probing nature of my work is like X-ray vision into society, through my eyes. The context, to its entirety, from the hues to the repetition, all of it, is a form of symbolism, producing an exploration of significant matter reflective of the vast complexity of our life, as I see it...
A micro speck in this vast celestial machinery- is what we are.
Skeletal fragmentation is the purest evidence of the core of human existence, and the insignificance of an individual in the grandiose scale of the universe — this is my struggle to accept the finality of my fate.
I paint because it’s me.
Photo by J Whitaker
Born in Prague, the Czech Republic, during communism, my artistic process began at an early age, at my uncle’s famous “attic-art studio” in old Prague, where I would get lost in labyrinths of large-sized canvas works while admiring their sheer size and play of color. Growing up under an oppressing regime, I developed an undying conviction to uphold the truth and the need to stand for all injustice. My work reflects my struggle between the despair and longing for the prospect of humanity as a whole.
In my formative years, I attend the prestigious Graphic Arts school in Prague, where I obtain multiple degrees from graphic design, photography, lithography, calligraphy, and letterpress. During my studies, I take several classes on drawing and painting.
My need for expression, experimenting, and passion for music prompts me to learn to play guitar and drums during my teenage years. Later on, I join the very notable band Posmrtne Zkusenosti, with whom I record a few songs, get signed by EMI, release an album, and consequently tour thus becoming recognized in the Czech Republic.
At age 24, I decided to move to the United States. Always driven by the need for adventure and new horizons, San Francisco, California is my first stop. Then onward to Chicago, where I spend several years and establish myself as a successful designer working on identity branding and graphic design for multiple prominent clients of Chicago’s vibrant cultural scene. One of them being Doug Fogelson, one of Chicago’s most acclaimed photographer. Works from our collaboration are featured in Sonneteer (by Front 40 Press), a book of visual compositions on the built environment.
My continued quest for new horizons drives me to downtown Los Angeles. I am immediately drawn to it for its raw form and dynamic vibrancy.
I find my new home to fuel me correctly and compliments my desire to create my art in new and different ways. It is here where I am fully immersed in the raw urban scene and finally start focusing solely on painting. I rent an atelier downtown LA where I spend most of my time while in Los Angeles.
My yearning for new experiences, exploration, and inspiration brings me to places around the world where I soak in all the different cultures, lifestyles, and values. My work is strongly influenced by real people’s lives and their stories. I draw my inspiration from studies of history, nature, cosmology, physics, and socioeconomic and political events (past and present).
I use mixed media applied on linen, canvas, paper, and other media. Ranging from acrylic paints, oil paints, oil sticks, oil pastels, charcoals, ink, spray paints, and other various materials, I implement different and experimental techniques to give my art a unique form. My work is known for heavy textures, symbolism, free-form, and fearless freedom of expression to the unforeseen quality of materials.
I create contemporary art that encapsulates my vision of one’s quest for finding the ultimate truth and all the obstacles and arguments one would have to endure on such a journey. Myths against facts, religions against science, primordial versus modern, and most of all, the conception and meaning of the one constant that defines and limits us all the same - time.