Max Schulze (1994) lives and works in Amsterdam.
In 2016, Schulze obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Utrecht School of the Arts and was awarded the HKU Thesis Prize for his dissertation, which was an ode to tragic female poets, as well as an exploration of what urges him to write. Not long thereafter, he decided to swap the idyllic city of Utrecht for the deafening hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, the likes of which continue to influence his work.
Inspired by subjects such as mythology, tragedy, confessional poetry, loneliness, and transience, he regularly consults his constantly expanding archive of found photographs in order to unearth the characters, set pieces, and props that are each given a place in a hypothetical play.
In a collage-like manner, Schulze paints the protagonists, antagonists, and extras guarding their positions, while simultaneously being distressed by their weaknesses and consumed by their personal weight. By playing with depth, size, juxtaposition, and transparency, he creates a mutual tension that invites the spectator to question the hierarchy depicted. Placed within a desolate landscape, emperors become lepers and deities regain mortality. The personas within the framed scenes each tell their own story through fast lines and brushstrokes that suggest movement, forming ludicrous pawns in a pre-determined script and a ruthless world, regardless of their hierarchical status.