Max Decker is a painter living and working on Martha’s Vineyard. He attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which has a philosophy of self-directed learning; a perfect reflection of how Max approaches his work as an artist. He has experimented with many different mediums and subject matters, from miniature landscapes sold at the Artisan’s Fair on Martha’s Vineyard to large-scale urbanscapes of New York City, to his current body of multi-scaled landscapes.
Max’s style is reminiscent of the American representational painters of the early-to-mid-1900s. He has been especially influenced by the work of Fairfield Porter, a portrait and landscape painter that blended realism with abstraction, rendering them in much the same way Max paints his everyday scenes – a stand of trees, a field, a porch – abstracting elements within the composition. Of his work Max states, “edges are hugely important...where shapes meet, how hard the line is, if it’s slightly blurred.” The focus on shapes and edges and how to abstract them through brushstrokes and color applications are emblematic of Max’s overall approach to painting. His palette is largely muted with warm tones resulting in scenes that are soft and subdued. He skillfully plays with contrasts of bright light and deep shadows, often bathing his subjects in sunlight.
As Max continues to further experiment with new compositions, adding additional elements – a female figure appears in his latest porch painting – he is also, “thinking more seriously about palette and nuance,” in terms of broadening and expanding in new directions. His skill and command of the medium sets him apart as a young but experienced painter.