Photography by Maxwell Heckman

Photography by Maxwell Heckman

Maxwell Heckman’s photography show juxtaposes two of his series: M.A.D: Mutually Assured Destruction, a black and white series which opposes nuclear war and weapons, and Morning in Joplin, a color landscape series.

In his application to show artwork in the library, Maxwell Heckman described himself as “a young, somewhat inexperienced photographer.” He went on to say his philosophy is artists must enjoy their work, be proud of their failures, and, above all, keep going.

In his practice, he wakes at 5am and walks about with his camera, taking photos, whether it’s 5 degrees or 106, rain or shine, good or poor lighting, etc. He keeps going, shooting as many frames as he can, enjoying the process.

Rather than viewing his artwork as good or bad – “peeks or valleys” – he sees it as a vehicle for improvement, as “always having the opportunity to get better.” That, he says, is why he’s an artist.

When working with Maxwell to determine which of his work to show in the library, I became intrigued with juxtaposing his gas mask series and landscapes. The stark contrast between the black and white gas mask photographs and the saturated color landscapes demonstrates Maxwell’s aptitude for exploring his medium while eliciting an indescribable connection between the two series.

Indeed, he might be young and somewhat inexperienced, but his work is experimental and promising.

Heckman’s photography is on display in the Genealogy, Local History, and Post Reading Room wing inside Joplin Public Library now through November 30th.


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