Max Wyse: Naïve no More
The BC-bred and Montreal-based artist Max Wyse has made his way onto a few best-of art lists in his adopted city lately—and looking at this exhibition of paintings on Plexiglas, it’s easy to see why. Wyse captures the naïve-drawing zeitgeist popular with younger artists and twists it into an even darker, stranger, more psychedelic place.
His latest series, titled Jardin dans la peau, has eyeballs growing out of cacti, and irises out of nostrils; similarly, calf muscles yield mushrooms and seed-puffed dandelions. Sidestepping the horror that these emblems of death’s decay might yield, Wyse simply says, “Like an archaeologist, I search, collect and compile the emblems and visual signs that hold my gaze, and I graph these symbols onto the central theme of the human figure.”
Ultimately, Wyse’s sticky implications of bodily degeneration repel, even as his pastel palette keeps you looking. This generates a tension of attractive abjection that may just encapsulate a naïve-no-more next wave. (5420 boul St-Laurent, Montreal QC)