Max Colby American, b. 1990

Max Colby is a visual artist, with a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, Boston.

Through lush and detailed work, Max's oeuvre reframes traditional notions of domesticity, power, and gender through a queer and non-binary lens. Touching on ceremonial and art-historical iconography, the artist reclaims, transforms, and constructs objects which subvert the aesthetics of violent, patriarchal systems. Their practice is expansive, including embroidery, painting, collage, textiles, sculpture, and installation.

Max's work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and art centres across the United States, as well as in the Netherlands, Belgium and Scotland. They were recently an artist in residence at the Museum of Arts and Design, MASS MoCA and a Leslie-Lohman Museum Fellow.

Their paintings and hand embroideries place a lens on the production and performance of gender through re-examining 20th-century American gay erotica. Each work is a reinterpretation of specific Victorian and American-Colonial crewel embroideries. The aesthetic weight of these opulent florals echoes the photographic content, opening exploration of identity through material histories.

Proposing alternative ways in which to view gender, power, and representation, Max focuses on the ability of material beauty to mask violent structures. Their interventions harness intimacy and fantasy, longing for new experiences and systems.

Max Colby lives and works in New York City.