Maxwell Plotkin – Artist Portfolio at the First Friday Art Walk


One of Maxwell Plotkin’s pieces/

It can be difficult to have hope for modern art sometimes. Most modern art that comes out of the woodwork nowadays is kitschy, effortless mess with about as much intellectual and emotional value as a very large rock. But every so often, an artist comes along that proves that the medium doesn’t have to be all broken lawn gnomes. One of these artists is Maxwell Plotkin.

Plotkin’s artwork displays a bold experimental streak, and an engaging use of multiple mediums in a single piece, like one piece that makes prominent use of nails. I recently saw down with Plotkin and interviewed him about his artwork and how got into artistry. Here’s what I got out of that:

When did you start painting?

When I was a kid.

What sorts of materials do you usually use and why?

Ususally acrylic and canvas, sometimes ink or paper. Acrylic is good because it dries fast, but while it’s wet it’s soluable. There’s a cornucopia of acrylic paint in the art room, so there’s a lot for me to select really easily.

What’s your inspiration?

I’m inspired by my environment, the way I’m feeling while I’m making a piece is generally directly what I put into the piece and what surrounds me is what I usually use.

Are there any artists or painters in particular you take influence from?
There are painters I admire, but I don’t necessarily take influence from them. I’m a fan of Da Vinci. I like impressionism and generally modern art. Too many things to name. De Stijl.

How would you describe your overall style?

It pretty much has a life of its own.

What do you usually paint about?

I usually try to provoke thoughts with my work, whether it’s “why did he paint this?”, “how did he paint this”, etc. I like to ask the viewer a question without being really frank about it. I want to inspire kind of a meditation if I can.

When and where do you paint?

In the art studio, during Period 2, sometimes during lunch.

Do you dabble in any other artwork besides painting? If so, what?

I have some ink drawings. That’s pretty much it.

What would you say are the most important qualities that make a painting good?

I think a painting is good if it makes me feel a way that most paintings don’t tend to make me feel. I like paintings that sort of explore the possibilities of the medium.

Where do you see yourself going in the future?