Artefact No. 23: Max Jansons 'Flowers and Intimacy'

Video and Images by August Blum

Original Music by Louis Stephens

Text by Max Jansons


Flowers are a gateway to the intimate. Their effortless perfection and beauty provide a way to see and feel the world on a deeper level. When I encounter a flower, a door is opened. I am drawn in to a moment of engagement that is outside of myself. My fears fall away, and I am allowed to experience the world how I feel that it is meant to be: a place of joy and wonderment.

Having Grown up in New York City in the 1970’s and 80’s, flowers were few and far between. Amidst the grit of the city, if I saw one, it was like a special gift. I would push my face in front of it and I would be transported. I will never forget that feeling: being allowed to leave, if even just for a moment, and feel life without anxiety and fear.

I was only able to truly understand my appreciation for flowers when I fell in love. I began to paint flowers after I met my wife, and I continue to do so every day. I look at each flower that I paint as a gift to my wife. It celebrates the intimate connection that we have and allows me to share my experience of life with her.

When I give a flower a connection is formed: I share a deep experience with another, bonding us in our humanity. By painting flowers, I am able to both give and receive them, tying myself more intimately with what they are and the connection that they provoke. I myself, symbolically create flowers and through this, I understand my place in this world on deeper and more sensual level. Each stroke that I paint allows me to experience the magic that flowers inspire and the intimacy that they represent. When I paint I am never without flowers and that makes my life worth living.

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