Max Rebel Q&A

Sydney Franklin

Q: Where are you from and how has it influenced your art work?

A: “I come from Germany. I’ve been here for almost 15 years. I graduated from Georgia Southern with a bachelor’s in 2010 and decided to continue my research and work with Georgia Southern, and I got accepted into the MFA program here. I have a strong background in graphic design, but three semesters into the program I wanted to develop my own content, ideas, techniques and step away from the assignment-based, or client-based environment. In Germany, everything is on the ground. Here, everything seems more exposed. So, I started to take notice in obsolete materials. Things in back allies, like electric boxes for example, just wires in general. Like telephone posts, industrial things in that nature.”

Q: You said you have a background in graphic arts. What made you choose the sculpture route instead of graphic design?

A: “Well technically, they’re not complete sculptures yet. You know, they’re still on the wall. I consider them more as ‘high relief constructions,’ and I do like the idea of that pretty much. They’re not one or the other, meaning traditional 2D or traditional three-dimensional objects, right. They are more like right in the middle. I’m not sure if I really meant to do this, but I really like this pull and pull between the two. I think this references kind of my personality or who I am, like being in Germany for example.”

Q: What is the most interesting item that you’ve used in your work?

A: “I think that I would have to say plastic. Melted plastic, neglected plastic that I’ve found and then burned.”

Q: What’s your favorite piece that you’ve ever done?

A: “It’s called ‘Obsolete,’ and it’s actually in my studio. I think that was sort of the first piece that kind of really showed me the way, kind of like the ‘aha’ moment. It’s got everything that I enjoy, complex layers. It took almost a year to complete, and it went through so many different stages of constructing, painting, just repurposing the materials in general.”

Q: What inspires your work emotionally?

A: “I go on a lot of journeys, these neglected areas that I talked about earlier, collapsed warehouses, old weathered back allies and so on. I think emotionally, it’s the unease and excitement that I get going to these places. Not knowing what could happen, what I could find. I think that that gives you sort of a rush, because you’re mostly alone, and it could be dark. It could be day. You’re in this environment that’s neglected, so there’s nobody there. It’s just you. I think it’s like a journey that you’ve never taken before.”