Speculative Paintings

Max Van Alstine

Max Van Alstine


[no title, figure piece] Speculative Paintings

Max Van Alstine

In an ambiguously lit blue-gray room, the lightly traced form of figure stands looking at an orange sphere that faintly reflects the face of the individual observing it. The obscure form of the figure is substantiated with a darker shadow behind it. The steel blue room contrasts the bright orange of the sphere, making it prominently standing in the foreground. 

[no title, hay pile piece] Speculative Paintings

Max Van Alstine

A large pile of hay sits outside, to the right of a red barn with a small blue house peeking out behind. The pile of hay contains two small eyes with small shadows surrounding them. The background is sky blue and sprinkled with fluffy, white clouds. A shadow is cast by the barn door which directly splits the eyes in the hay down the middle, separating one from the other. There is something unsettling in the eyes of whoever or whatever it is resting under a pile of hay; while the scenery of this painting is generally bright and warm toned, the eyes elicit something darker.



  In this expanding work of acrylic paintings, I am approaching space and its inhabitants

from a perspective of uncertainty and strangeness. Many of these paintings are heavily

inspired by golden age sci-fi paintings and illustrations and the way that they break

imaginative boundaries while remaining engaging to a broad audience. I believe the

juxtaposition of the strange and the familiar is paramount to the effects of this kind of work,

and allows the viewer to more easily gain entry to an alien world. In my own work, this

element of familiarity is often a figure of some kind, or a facial feature.


Max Van Alstine’s Studio Visit