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Cold Hands Thaw With Sparks

Max Mucha

Max Mucha, Cuddling and Bengalen Lights, 2024, Oil on canvas, 165 x 190 cm

LKIF Gallery is pleased to present Cold Hands Thaw With Sparks, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Max Mucha (b.1995, Düsseldorf). This marks the artist’s first solo presentation in Asia.

Millennials and Gen G are labeled as snowflake generation. This is a metaphor that uses the special shape of snowflakes and their weak nature that melts easily, suggesting that the generation is exceptionally delicate and extremely sensitive like snowflakes. Aside from the question of how accurate and proper such a perception to millennials and Gen G is, the generation struggles to find their place in the world, voicing their concerns about the instability and uncertainty of life, the absurdity and social justice they witness, despite negative views on them. In the flow of generations- Baby boomers 1943, Generation X 1965, Millennials 1980, and Generation Z-, each generation had a variety of seeds in order to create something meaningful at a point of connection with the world, which has been a great inspiration for art. Mucha explores the realities and dreams of the generation so-called Snowflake Generation and their interactions with the world they face.

Max Mucha, Bathers, 2024, Oil on canvas, 103 x 80 cm

In this exhibition, Mucha presents 8 paintings filled with the various emotions that this generation has – longing, solitude, desire and doubt. Each work is a rendering of the life faced by the entire younger generation with each impression, and the audience reads their keynotes in a strange tension between a dreamlike screen and the real world.

Max Mucha, Shadow Games, 2024, Oil on canvas, 95 x 110 cm

The unnatural combination of distorted shapes and the composition deviated from the realism shown by Mucha’s painting leads the audience to an unknown atmosphere. The composition that contrasts the interior and exterior, reality and unreality, light and shadow, and characters and its surrounding is characteristic in Mucha’s work, resulting in the effect of further emphasizing the weakness of the character. This clearly reflects the isolation of millennials and Gen.G, because unlike previous generations who socialized and interacted with people through physical activities or face-to-face conversations, the new generation grew in an era of rapid technological development and globalization and got used to interactions through mobile phones and computers, isolating themselves from the outside. This is why Mucha’s protagonists, who want to be connected to the world outside world but are isolated in their own world, are placed on a particularly gloomy sentiment.

Max Mucha, Birth of Charmer, 2024, Oil on canvas, 30 x 24 cm

“I highlight the inner ambivalent struggles of Snowflake Generation by exaggerating hyper-sensitivity and melancholy mood of the figures,” says Max Mucha.

A day spent looking at the scenery outside the window, the characters depicted as if they were floating the sky above a wild crowd, the sense of distance from others even in a romantic resort, and their own tranquil space. Various characters in his paintings reveal their emotions in the screen where the line between the inner side and the outside world is blurred. Melancholy, which is evoked throughout this exhibition, is the sound emitted by the youth of the present era.

It is interesting to face different emotions of people who belong to the same era but are completely different. Generational unfamiliarity can sometimes leads to dissonance, but if so, who sets the standard for consonance? The exhibition title “Cold Hands Thaw With Sparks” is the message of the artist, who hopes this generation be understood a little more and their and our hands get a little warmer.

2F 36-63 Hannam-daero 27-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea