Dozens of cans of spray paint plus special nozzles equals tagging, right? Not always. Max Ehrman has a degree in architecture. He told me in conversation that he was academically trained and making art using brushes until he saw a tagger at work in Gainesville in 1996: "Daim and Seemso (Kane7) came through and did a memorial wall for a kid that had died, it was the most amazing piece of art I had ever seen! I walked to the wall the next day and just stared at the characters and the Daim and Seemso pieces, I had never seen graffiti executed with level of precision and mastery. Frankly I didn't even think it was possible."
Max renamed himself "Quad", ran out, bought a dozen cans of Krylon, and changed his life. He picked up the technique and started doing legal graffiti murals. See here. He uses the same spray-paint techniques on large canvas works, including that being shown at the Collective.
He later changed his name to Eon 75, as an acronym for "Extermination of Normality", after an old-school Bronx crew. 75 is the year he was born. Max still uses Quad, as well as Asco & Eace on ocassion, changing styles and names. He works with his own crew, Alosta, and HBT, WAF, Lords and WCF crews as well.
A native of Naples currently living in San Francisco, on Haight and Ashbury, no less. Max says the subtropical floridian vegetation has affected him deeply, including the work at this show. They are organic, lush, fertile, sensuous and colorful forms with a palpable joyful reverence for Nature. He describes his own style as "organic, funk, sci-fi", and uses things in threes as a motif.
The pieces in the show border on the decorative in terms of color and flowing forms, but go further, presenting deeply autobiographical, life affirming forms.
Collective Tattoo & Gallery, 601 Central Avenue, St Petersburg. The Show runs into mid-October.