Max Collins is a photographer and installation artist working in Western New York who specializes in creating ephemeral large-scale photomurals of portraits through a process known as ‘wheat-pasting’ where he glues simple office paper prints to all kinds of surfaces in public spaces. Collins, who has a background in photojournalism, says, “I value having my work serving a more social purpose by interacting with a wider audience. With each project, I uniquely react to the space and create work in attempt to create a relationship with my work and the environment it is in. I treat the process like a sculptural collage where I ingrain a photograph or image into an urban landscape, letting the two have a conversation with each other. Photography has always provided a connection to my surroundings. By taking it a step further and reintroducing my photographs of a place into the physical environment, this process allows for the work to intervene on public space connecting it to its environment as well as its inhabitants.”
For his TopSpin installation, Collins invited participation by Niagara University, Stella Niagara Educational Park and LaSalle Primary students and to help produce wrapped sticks using his wheat paste technique. The result of the project will be unveiled to the public as a giant, circular, wrapped nest. Collin’s exhibition consists of the on-location sculptural installation and photo documentation of the project.
Max Collins is a photographer and installation artist born and raised around Western New York and is an MFA candidate at the University at Buffalo. While earning a BFA in fine art & journalism from the University of Michigan, Collins began taking his photography into the streets physically pasting large portraits on the sides of buildings. He has since done projects around the country in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, but his artistic practice remains rooted in his hometown where he has executed numerous public art projects, organized exhibitions, and taught workshops to students of all ages.
Click here to access a digital copy of the exhibit catalog.