R.MAX'S WAY TO THE PICTURE.
In the course of numerous painting experiments, R.MAX developed "Maxist
Painting". That has been divided into the abstract styles of IMPULSE
PAINTINGS, STRUCTURE PAINTINGS, VISION PAINTINGS, SESSION
PAINTINGS, BIG BANG PAINTINGS and the MIXED PAINTINGS.
A virtuoso, unconventional method of applying the paint is used for impulse
images by brush and flicking the paint, and for the structure paintings by using a
special spatula technique with the palette knife. All of other R.MAX styles are
painted by using mixed techniques. The artist prefers large formats for his
The invention and creation of a picture, is achieved by R.MAX in a process of
connecting the conscious and the unconscious. His works and their content
develop while he works on them,he visualises and carries out his ideas during
the painting process and in the creation of his works he also deliberately leaves
the space for coincidence.
"In the process of creation, my art is first of all deliberately unintentional. What I
can conceptually express are only the steps that lie directly behind me, I don't
know the next steps, they result from themselves. My personal perceptions play
an especially important role during the work on the painting, as well as the
process of converting those impressions via intuitive acting and reacting.
It is a kind of research process, that is open internally as well as externally, and I
as painter am thereby the tamer of form and colour".
R.MAX's art is based increasingly on form and picture discoveries without a
pre-determined formula, and more and more on spontaneous inspiration. Instead
of a formulated vision, R.MAX begins frequently with the pure act of painting,
perhaps with an undefined idea, though without a firmly outlined concept, and
surrenders himself completely to the adventure of painting. That greater freedom
incurs a higher risk, but the possibility of the failure of the painting process is
consciously calculated into the artistic work. That the pictures, despite the
evidence of latent aggression, elemental force and primeval fear, nevertheless
don't evoke a depressing, existence - denying conception of the world,
demonstrates that R. MAX can create them in a superior way. He rather moves
the ambivalence of elementary driving force into the consciousness.
Until now it was possible for mankind to set its elemental force against threat
and the ability to withstand it, subjection and the ability to live on, danger and
resistance, and R.MAX chose all these elemental experiences as central themes
for his pictures. And therefore in his art you can find the unbroken hope that lets
you feel the long breath of mankind's existential fight. His pictures, full of
spectacular power and atmospheric denseness, are focussed straight at the
viewer to attack him from every direction, to wrap him, to catch him. No doubt:
these paintings are aimed or directed at immediate effect.
They are unusually and provokingly radical. The secret of the apparent, a certain
aestheticism of the subjectivity is indisputable and, in a strange way, associates
the fascination and the irritation.
A process of constant variation characterises all his work from the past three
years. Thus there is none of the exhaustion of modern art to be found in his art.
Both of his style trends are expressive without restraint and on all sides they
convince about the synthesis of effect and nuance. It's quite amazing how firmly
and radically he bends an often already conjured recognition of theloss of utopia
in art, and the look into the lack of prospects and ability to work.
He ascends to visual phrasings which are not comparable to anything else in
their blending of ecstatic, sensuous impulses, with gestures in painting of an
impressive independence. One thing is obvious: he always tries to break open
the fossilized structures and to create space for new experiences and ways of
R. MAX covered a new vital area in art that is often believed dead, and even
more often declared dead. That was thanks to an elementary unleashing of
colours and forms in conjunction with a controlled picture management.
His art is becoming the way to express his inner self.
The artist is at the same time both: outsider and genius, or rather victim and
usurper. The art is its own aim and it strictly denies any association with any
outer-aesthetic spheres. The analytic preoccupation with his works has nothing
to do with a cold-blooded manner, but rather reveals the unusual creative power
and energy of this remarkable artist.
"All I am, I am thanks to the art" comments R.MAX about his attitude.
In the end, it is not his intention to revolutionise the arts, but to develop them
further as an indication of an absolute autonomy. That gives him the
authorization for his own existence. This attitude manifests itself magnificently
in his works and their aesthetic stubbornness; his pictures impress and inspire
our imagination. The paintings of R.MAX also burst the ordinary frame of the
WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF A PICTURE AND WHAT IS THE
IMPORTANCE OF THE CREATOR?
Possible answers concern general basic conditions of the art and the estimation
of its assessment at the start of the 21st century. Of course, R.MAX knows that,
because of an increasing blurring of the dividing lines of the genres and of an
increasing adoption of electronic media, art doesn't have the same status like
decades ago, when it was more or less entitled to the leading role in the
spectrum of the fine arts. That's why his professed goal is, within limits, the
restitution of its former glory.
All of the following were a steady impetus in R.MAX's work: the emergence
into the new, the abrupt radical stylistic changes, the discovery of a positive
wisdom in the process of acquisition and rejection, learning and forgetting,
putting up a form and destroying it, seeing the established conventions as
absolute and looking for unspent means of expression. It is nothing negative, just
His art refers to an unlimited potential of a constantly regenerating creativity, in
which two components act in combination - directness and reflection or
weakness and perfection. In reflecting on his artistic way you notice that R.MAX
always aims the unmistakable manifestation of his own subjectivity in each
picture. His work is full of heights and radical changes, that fascinate
again and again but also provoke questions, cause enthusiasm or amazement and
astonishment, sometimes also disapproval, but never leave you indifferent.
Even though they spring from a firm egocentric attitude, his works reflect a
content from the collective consciousness, which alludes to look into our world
and the situation of the fine arts with their faults and conflicts.
In his earlier paintings he was looking for adequate artistic expression of selfexperienced
reality, but on paintings, in all his fascinating new developed styles,
he is working more radically than ever from the aspect of originality, by painting
things that nobody painted before.
Apparently there are no limits for the artistic play capabilities of R.MAX.
Evocation and erasing, revealing and hiding - they are becoming closely united.
He comprehends art as a vast continent, into which you have to penetrate, as a
huge reservoir of opportunities from which you can scoop, and thereby he
creates a new distinctive conception and mode of expression.
He is certainly not any diagnostician of our damaged world, instead he leaves no
space in his remarkable paintings for pessimism and apocalyptic mood. It is
obvious, that his pictures emerge from a deep need of painting. The finished
work should stay mysterious and not drown in a quagmire of superficialities.
On balance we have to say, that the paintings of R.MAX are extraordinary,
aesthetic phenomena. They don't simply cast their spell over the viewer, but
rather take him hostage.
Peter Meyn, Journalist, Hamburg - Germany, 2007.
Born as Ralf Maximilian Berninger in Idstein / Taunus near Frankfurt am Main.
Musician, songwriter, composer
Study of interior design and architecture at the Fachhochschule in Wiesbaden.
Freelance artist and musician, casual work in many different professions, numerous
educational trips, development of his artistic way of working
Adoption of pseudonym R.MAX, development of “Maxistic Painting”, study and work on
sculpture, exclusive work as freelance artist
Numerous national and international solo exhibitions of his art and participation in joint
Commissioned works for private collectors and companies
Support by Hessian Ministry for Sciences and Art
R.MAX lives momentary on the island of La Palma / Canaries and near Frankfurt Germany.