Finding the Beauty in the Everyday

Artists Max Guther, Indra Sanchez (also known by her moniker “Indi Maverick”), and Celeste Byers are part of a generation of artists that lie somewhere between millennials and the zoomers, somewhere between self-assured idealism and self-conscious realism. They choose to see the beauty in the everyday, but don’t sugarcoat it, and in each of their pieces cast a critical eye upon it.

Camper x Max Guther

The city has long been an object of interest to artists, particularly expressionists, who were amazed and excited by the fast-paced urban lifestyle, but looked down on its materialistic tendencies. Depictions of cities contrasted with earlier paintings of the imagined, idyllic country life, and this tension have carried on to today, with cottagecore content trending on TikTok and Instagram as more and more people took to social media to socialise as the pandemic raged on. Max Guther has mastered the slice of life illustration, but his work is anything but simply glammed up. It is beautiful but refuses to gloss over imperfections.

Washington Post, Max Guther

Guther has said that he is inspired first and foremost by everyday life, in all its shining glory. He has also cited photographer Alex Prager, who was inspired by Los Angeles, the second-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Prager called it, “a strange picture of perfection” with an undercurrent of monotony and unease underneath all its beauty and promise. Guther looks up to illustrator Manshen Lo too, his examination of the tensions between people and the urban spaces they inhabit as inspirations. Movies and books also influence Guther’s work quite a lot, as well as the aesthetics of old computer games (his early pieces were compared to life simulation video game The Sims) and Bauhaus architects.

Vitra, Max Guther

Guther was fascinated by architecture since he was a child playing with Legos and went on to study Communication Design. The starting point of his artistic journey was architecture but his focus eventually centred on people. Guther has said that it didn’t make sense to him to just make beautiful drawings of interiors, and as a commercial illustrator he aims to explore themes and add to the story the writer he collaborates with is telling, and people were the gateway to his creative expansion. Currently, his work explores the stereotypes and absurdities of everyday and modern life, which he renders in a hyper-realistic 3-D. While doing an internship at Berlin-based artist Eike Konig’s studio, he discovered isometry (a method for visually representing 3-D objects in a 2-D piece used in technical and engineering drawings) and started developing his style: “The hard shadows and colourful palette turned out good images, to me anyway. But I realised pretty fast that the analogue approach wasn’t for me. So I started doing digital.” Guther found making his work in 3-D, less time-consuming and uses Blender and Photoshop to polish his pieces.

A Modern Man, Max Guther