Max Ross

Max Ross

Maxwell Louis Ross -

Dynamic Double Exposure Pop Art started his art journey on August 23, 1991, in Pasadena, California.
Young Max and his family moved to Maui, Hawaii In 1995, after the famous 1992 LA riots and
the following Northridge earthquake. As a kid in Kula Elementary School, Max found he had a
knack for art, snagging second place in an art show at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.
Growing up, Max had an initial passion for basketball and soccer, but he was also really into
drawing, often getting into fun sketching contests with his buddies at school. It wasn't until his
junior year at King Kekaulike High School that it really hit him: art was what he was meant to do.
From 2009 to 2012, Max embarked on his post-secondary journey after graduating high
school. Initially pursuing a Marketing major at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, his
trajectory shifted dramatically following a transformative experience in a screen-printing class
during his first semester. Captivated by the creative process, Max made the bold decision to
switch his major to Fine Arts, marking the beginning of his earnest pursuit of an artistic career.
As he delved deeper into his studies, Max grew increasingly inspired, ultimately transferring his
Associate Arts credits to Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) by June 2012 to further pursue his passion for
Between 2012 and 2015, Max Ross embarked on a significant chapter at Cal Poly
Pomona. The CPP Fine Arts program boasted a small class size of less than 30 students.
Remarkably, Max found himself among the final cohort of students to be admitted into the Fine
Arts program before the department's closure by the college. Amidst his studies, Max returned
to Maui for the 2012 Winter holidays, where he celebrated a milestone moment in his career.
His exhibition of mixed media wood burning/paintings at Makawao's "This is the End Show" on

December 21st, 2012, was Max's first show on the island, showcasing his growing talent and
commitment to his art.
With only four years remaining before the closure of CPP's Fine Arts program, Max
found himself in a unique learning environment characterized by smaller class sizes and a
higher teacher-to-student ratio. Surrounded by a core of skillful fine arts educators, including
Joyce Hesselgrave, Barbara Thomason, Ann Phong, and Gina Lawson-Egan, Max was
surrounded by a wealth of artistic inspiration. Their collective influence continues to shape
Max's artistic persona, serving as a steadfast source of guidance and motivation throughout his
Among these mentors, Barbara Thomason, in her role as Senior Project Mentor, played
a pivotal role in instilling in Max a disciplined approach rooted in the basic tenets of art realism.
Meanwhile, Ann and Gina sparked Max's creativity, inspiring him to explore new realms of
expression and innovation. Their impact on Max's artistic journey endures to this day,
representing a constant presence in his evolving artistic identity.
Following his graduation, Max remained in Pomona, steadfastly supporting his growing
artistic career while working at The Home Depot. Despite the time demands of his job, Max's
passion for art burned brightly, driving him to create work for his second art show held at the
Acrylick clothing store in downtown Pomona.
As April 2015 drew to a close, Max was on the cusp of completing the final semester
requirements for his BA in Fine Arts when tragedy suddenly intervened. Amidst his academic
triumph, Max found himself admitted to UC Irvine Hospital for emergency surgery, the result of a
seizure triggered by a mass on his temporal lobe. Enduring this harrowing ordeal, Max emerged
with a newfound intensity in his creativity, focus, and drive. Fueled by the resilience forged in the
crucible of adversity, Max's commitment to his artistic vision only deepened in the wake of this
life-altering experience.
Despite the immense challenges he faced, Max's indomitable spirit prevailed. Just one
month after undergoing major surgery, he defied the odds to proudly graduate with the Cal Poly
class of 2015, earning his BA in Fine Arts. For Max, this triumph was more than just an
academic milestone—it symbolized a profound testament to his resilience and unwavering
dedication to his artistic pursuits.
Adversity ignited a fire within Max, boosting his creativity and strengthening his
determination to fully commit to his art. With a clear vision and purpose, Max started the next
part of his journey with great optimism and excitement for future achievements.
In 2016, Max embarked on a period of intense artistic exploration and development,
honing his skills through focused sketching sessions aimed at refining his craft in preparation for
future painting endeavors. Embracing experimentation, Max delved into various mediums and
techniques, including wood burning, sketching, creating album covers, and exploring acrylic
painting on wood. This period of creative exploration served as a crucial foundation for Max's
artistic evolution, laying the groundwork for the innovative and dynamic work that would define
his career in the years to come.
In between 2017 and 2018, Max Ross launched into an extensive series of art
exhibitions and live painting sessions throughout Maui:

 March 30, 2017: Max showcased his live art skills at Request Music in Wailuku,
employing acrylic on wood as his medium of choice.
 April 14, 2017: He participated in the Super Fresh 5 artists group showing and
live music event at Island Fresh in Paia, contributing to the vibrant creative
 May 5, 2017: Max lent his talents to the Cinco de Mayo Drum and Bass event at
Da Warehouse Maui in Wailuku, infusing the celebration with his unique artistic
 Throughout the year, Max was a fixture at Third Friday events in Makawao,
captivating audiences with his live art performances.
 Various Live-art sessions at Casanovas in Makawao
 On July 22, 2017, Max showcased his solo art show at Tree House Arts Studio in
Haiku, presenting a stunning array of paintings and prints for exhibit.
 The momentum continued into March 2018, when Max held a solo art show at
Wailuku Coffee Co., captivating audiences with his captivating artwork and prints.
 Due to popular demand, Max's March show at Wailuku Coffee Co. was extended
until the end of April 2018, attesting to the widespread acclaim for his work.
 In May 2018, Max's artistic endeavors found a new home at Signature Art
Gallery, where ongoing exhibits and live painting events became a regular
feature, captivating audiences month after month with Max's dynamic and
evocative creations.
In 2018, Max Ross saw a nice uptick in his painting and print sales, marking a good year
for his art. Signature Art Gallery in Lahaina took note of his work and decided to feature some of
his pieces in their collection, giving him a decent platform to showcase his creations.
Despite the closure of Signature Art Gallery in January 2019, which could have been a
significant setback, De Rubeis Gallery stepped in later that year to keep the space vibrant. They
not only continued to display Max Ross' artwork but also hosted weekly live painting events,
further solidifying Max's role in the Maui art scene and enhancing his opportunities for artistic
Four months into the new gallery’s life, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, shutting down many
shops on Front Street in Lahaina, including the De Rubeis Gallery. During this downtime, Max
took the opportunity to deepen his engagement with his art. He focused on creating large,
detailed portraits while experimenting with Surrealism and Cubism. He incorporated surreal and
abstract elements into his work, such as the split portraits seen in his Marilyn Monroe piece.
These artworks evolved into emotionally complex, multi-layered pieces that encourage
thoughtful reflection and represent a bold departure from traditional styles.
For four years, Max's creativity thrived at De Rubeis Gallery on the bustling Front Street,
until a devastating fire in August 2023 ravaged the area, deeply affecting him and marking a
poignant chapter in his life. Despite this loss, Max's resolve remains unshaken, and he
continues to look forward with optimism, ready to seize new opportunities and continue evolving
artistically. His journey reached a significant milestone in February 2022 when his painting
"Roots to the Soul" was selected for the prestigious Schaefer portrait challenge, showcasing his
ability to capture profound influences in his life through art. Today, as a teacher of drawing,

painting, and photography at Maui High School, Max Ross is committed to pushing the
boundaries of his craft while preparing for future projects that delve into the impactful narratives
shaping his world.

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