The artist Emmanuel Ballangé, from Charentes, called MAX, encountered his first paint brush at a young age. As a child he spent many hours helping his mother restock tubes of paint and paint brushes in the art supply shop where she worked. He was drawn to the myriad colours, surfaces and smells. As a teenager, he tried his hand at his first canvases.
At university, he studied anthropology and often went to the many art ateliers in the region. During this time he attended classes taught by Jean-François Favre, a tenured professor of visual arts. After receiving his Master's Degree, he had a career for several years as a technical consultant and demonstrator for several retail chains specialising in fine arts supplies. Inspired by his encounters with artists, MAX made the decision to become a professional artist in 2000; four years later he opened his own atelier in Bordeaux.
Beginning with acrylic or oil paint, he adds charcoal from husk or walnut tree, Indian ink. MAX mixes techniques and surfaces, pushing the boundaries by integrating natural materials such as sand, in order to create a thicker texture. The artist uses paint brushes, knives, fingers and all kinds of objects in order to bring his interpretations of landscapes to life, on the chosen support. MAX's painting is inspired by works by artists from Souther France such as Pierre Ambrogiani (1907-1985) or Michel Jouenne (born in 1933), which he augments with strong and subjective colours, paraphrasing Baudelaire's famous saying: "I want the prairies dyed red, the rivers golden yellow and the trees painted blue. Nature has no imagination."