Published: Jun 22, 2013
Master artist Max Taylor answers this week’s 20 Questions from Guardian Arts&Culture.
1. What’s been your most inspirational moment in the last five years?
Thanks for the consideration of myself and other old Bahamian artists that continue to go on and hold on. My most inspirational moment in the last five years was creating “The Family”, a sculpture for the Lynden Pindling International Airport. It took quite a toll on me, working day and night, seven days a week. I almost gave up, but I knew that I had to finish it. It took patience, determination, even doubt and love to go on. “The Family” sculpture was the most inspirational piece I have done to date.
2. What’s your least favorite piece of artwork?
This is very difficult to answer because there are many pieces that I’ve done, even many pieces that I’ve destroyed, but my least favorite medium is the technique of etching, which I will continue.
3. What’s your favorite period of art history?
My favorite period is the impressionist period, dating back to Rembrandt, Francisco Goya, but most important, The Cubist era.
4. What are your top 5 movies of all time?
I am not a movie buff but the old black and white movies still attract me. The language, the acting and creativity.
5. Coffee or tea?
I grew up drinking tea and still love it. So, tea.
6. What book are you reading now?
The Bible. I don’t read too many novels at all.
7. What project are you working on now?
At the moment, I am not working on a project but my mind continues to be clustered with many ideas.
8. What’s the last show that surprised you?
Antonius Roberts’ “Bubbles”.
9. Saxons, One Family, Valley Boys or Roots?
10. If you had to be stranded on one Family Island which one would it be?
Either Cat Island or Eleuthera.
11. What’s the most memorable artwork you’ve ever seen?
“The Moses” by Michelangelo continues to be the most striking piece of sculpture in existence to me.
12. Which artist do you have a secret crush on?
I continue to enjoy the works of Charles White, the African-American artist.
13. If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be?
My wife and grandchildren.
14. Who do you think is the most important Bahamian in the country’s history?
I have always liked Randol Fawkes. When he lived, he loved the arts, music and his people. Carlton Francis is also on my list.
15. Who is your favorite living artist?
There are so many of them, but the works of Sam Gilliam, also an African-American artist.
16. Sunrise or Sunset?
I love both, but I will take the sunrise, mainly because I am seeing another day.
17. What role does the artist have in society?
This is difficult for me to answer. When I look at the history of Mexican art, Spain and artists like Picasso and others, even one of my mentors Robert Blackburn and the Finco Art Workshop, all did a lot of good for the young artists in our society. Looking back at the Chelsea Pottery more than 50 years ago really left a legacy in The Bahamas and did considerable good for the society. But there are many artists and poets who can really bring our social issues and political issues to the forefront of our society and make politicians pay attention. But as artists our personal agenda is to create.
18. What’s your most embarrassing moment?
I have many but my most memorable is seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, and I thought it was falling.
19. What wouldn’t you do without?
Well, my wife.
20. What’s your definition of beauty?
This could entail many things, a butterfly, a sunset, a woman, a newborn baby, but simply put, the beautiful islands of The Bahamas.