Max and Kazu use mass-produced American pottery from the 1930s to 1980s to create photo tableaux of stunning simplicity and beauty.
Max Blechman is originally from Brooklyn, New York and Kazu Umeki spent his early years in Tokyo, Japan.
They now live together on Castro Street in San Francisco.
In our sixth exhibit, we'd like to present something that is hard to describe. Is this photography? Yes, definitely so. But why are they photographing old figurines and vases? And why are they arranged in such a strange fashion?
Max and Kazu came up with something absolutely different, a new art style.
Max fell in love with mid-century American pottery in the 80s. He's been browsing flea markets, garage sales, and eBay for over 35 years. He loved how this old American pottery looked and, more importantly, felt to the touch. He amassed over 10,000 pieces, and his house looks like a museum of mid-century American pottery. All pieces are superbly well arranged, periodically dusted, and ready for the next big San Francisco earthquake.
With his background from the Rhode Island School of Design and the memories of his pebbles collection back in Tokyo, Kazu helps Max arrange his collection in unique patterns and tessellations. He adds a little bit of the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi (appreciating the beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete in nature) to "compel the viewer to consider them in ways that transcend their commonplace origins."
See BLECHMEKI work in person starting at our opening reception on Saturday, June 4th.
and visit our virtual exhibit: