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Bike love in Carbondale

Stina Sieg
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Stina Sieg Post Independent
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CARBONDALE, Colorado ” When someone tells you he’s 260 in “Carbondale years,” you know you’re headed into an interesting conversation. So it went with Max Cooper, the abstract painter, bike builder, KDNK DJ and overall local character. Tonight, he’s helping host the “Stomparillaz Art Show,” with work from him, the late Damon J. Wallick and other Stomparillaz (a local art group). Along with his abstract, oil pieces, a few of Cooper’s hand-built bikes will be on display as well. Regardless of what he’s making, he’s not into anything being “precious,” he said, and “the cult of the new” does nothing for him.

He sounded just as into his fine art as he did the more utilitarian variety.

In his words, “It’s certainly a lot easier to foist a bike on somebody than it is painting.”



Here’s a little of what else he had on his mind.

Why art? What draws you to it? “Not much, really. I usually just sleep until the last possible minute and then make something. Doing art isn’t predicated on consuming resources, so that’s a nice feature. So, with the exception of profiteering, you can pretty much get as much art out of your system as you’ve got content in there.”



Why abstract art? “I don’t know when I fell off the reality train, but it was a long, long time ago.”

“As of late, my reality-based work has been courtesy of the Gear Exchange (where works on and builds bicycles). I’m pretty much content to look at the John Singer-Sargent at the KDNK bathroom, and I’m not needing to go there.”

“And I’m contrarian. And I like to challenge people. They’re confused, and I’m confused for them.”

What’s the idea behind Stomparillaz? “Creative cycling collective. So, whether you do it with others or you do it by your lonesome, trying to make creative, conscious decisions. There’s a fair amount of making. There’s a fair amount of hanging. And, somewhere in the middle, there’s some stomping.”

Are you trying to say anything with your work? “The main goal of making abstract work is to try to engage someone to see what they want to make or they want to give. If contemplation can be derived from an abstract painting ” contemplating not derived in a literally illustrated manner ” that’s fine by me.”

“Nothing depresses me more than a blank, bare space, slash homogenization. F”king boring.”

You have this love of bikes. What’s that about? “Bike love? Bike love is again predicated on how much there is to have from something so simple, how much there is to be gained from something so simple.”

“You can certainly make it complicated, but the simple and beautiful bike has so much to offer ” physical, spiritual. It can also make your lawn look like a yard sale where nothing is for sale.”

What’s the most important thing in your life? “That would probably be being alive, which I still am, so that’s pretty sweet ” which is not to say the afterlife isn’t pretty sweet, I guess. But I’m pretty good in this one for a little longer. Or a lot longer.”

Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111

ssieg@postindependent.com


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