Two-time Juxtapoz cover artist Jeff Soto and his longtime collaborator Maxx242's joint exhibit opens this Saturday, November 9 at Bunsen Goetz Gallerie in Nuremberg, Germany. "Maxx and I have spent most of our lives in Riverside, California, and are well-known artists in the community," explained Soto. "We were talking to the Riverside Art Museum and the people there suggested that we work with a space in Erlangen-Nuremberg, Riverside's sister city. Bunsen Goetz had recently arranged Elke Zauner's 'Exit/Entry' at Riverside, so the gallery invited us to show at their spot. It's sort of an artist exchange, in a way."
"Fire Within," the exhibition's name, references love, sexuality, and spirituality – recurring themes in both men's work. Soto's pieces explore nature and the cycle of life, and whether an afterlife awaits us. Maxx242's paintings address love and loss in the context of family and other relationships. At the opening, the pair will debut more than 25 tableaux on wood panels.
Although Soto and Maxx set off on their first artistic adventure in 1991 (decorating urban walls together under the monikers "Sotofish" and "Sag") and helped found art collaborative F4D Studios in 2011, the two haven't shown together in a gallery setting before. "We share a studio and I tried to stay late nights alongside Maxx," Soto remarked. "We each have strengths when it comes to image-making, so we kept dialogue going and pushed one another. It was fun, and perhaps one of the strongest bodies of work I've done in a long time!"
Along with attending the opening on November 9, Soto and Maxx will deliver a talk and slideshow presentation at the German-American Institute Nuremberg on November 7 at 7 p.m.