Max LaZebnik – Expressing Emotions Thru Self-Portraits

Matt LaZebnik

Hi, I’m Max.

I am a 25-year old man with Asperger’s Syndrome from Los Angeles. I loved drawing ever since I was little, and was first inspired after watching Disney films as a child. When I was in high school, I started developing an interest in Web Design. I then went to school at Champlain College in Burlington, VT to pursue Graphic Design- which consists of both drawing and web design. I graduated in December ’14 with a BFA in Graphic Design and Digital Media. After graduating, I moved back to Los Angeles and settled into the North Hollywood area of LA, working as a freelance/ contractor Web Designer ever since.

My art represents who I am not only as a man with Asperger’s, but as a Progressive 25-year-old man living through a rough political climate. Whenever I create one drawing or painting during the weekend, it gives me an opportunity to escape the battles and anxieties I experience in everyday life with Asperger’s. I feel my drawings give me a “voice” that gives the world a visual message on how I experience life. While drawing, I feel I can focus on my artistic “talent,” without worrying about about the negatives of social and work life.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Beatles, classic rock, and visual art of the 1960s. The 1960’s also consisted of social revolutions, which represents the “voice” of someone on the Spectrum in my art. For these reasons, my art is inspired by psychedelic-style poster art, album covers (like the Jefferson Airplane, the Beatles, the Zombies, etc), and other visual art (like the art of Andy Warhol, Milton Glaser, and Peter Max) of the Mid-Late 1960’s. As Donald Trump has been elected president, the ’60’s style in my art seems more relevant today. Many youths today are protesting Trump just like they protested Vietnam in the ’60’s. The psychedelic art style was expressive in the anti-war movement.

Matt LaZebnik Anxiety

“Anxiety”- 14″x11″ Mixed Media Paper- Pencil, Colored Pencils, Sharpies, Inks A self portrait of Max with a visual representation of his anxieties regarding Trump’s presidency.

The fact that Donald Trump was elected president also applies to how I feel about being on the Spectrum. Trump said things about Autism and insulted a reporter with Disabilities, which worries me. I also intend to use my art as a tool to give people on the Spectrum a voice and remind them that despite their challenges, they can still be happy and successful in life. The ’60’s theme in my art also intends to reflect on the “personal liberties” that many of us on the Spectrum have long-struggled with. Many of us on the Spectrum feel that despite our challenges, we are still people and have feelings just like others. We just want people to be able to understand us better- and some of the messages behind my art intend to do just that.

Aspergers

“Aspergers”- 14″x11″ Mixed Media Paper- Pencil and Colored Pencils A self portrait of Max with a visual representation of how he feels about his diagnosis of Asperger’s. The pencil black and white left side represents Max’s anxieties and insecurities while the colored right represents Max’s strengths and interest.

“Asperger’s” is a self portrait with drawings representing my feelings about Asperger’s Syndrome. The left side of the drawing in black and white represents my anxieties and fears. The right side of the drawing, in color, represents my passions and strengths.

Calm State “The Calm State”- 14″x11″ Mixed Media Paper- Watercolor Pencils. A self portrait of Max with a visual representation of how he feels when he is “calm” and “happy.”

“The Calm State” represents the “color” I visualize in my head when I am in a good, relaxed mood.

Peace of Mind

“Peace of Mind” – 20″x16″ Canvas- Watercolors. A visual representation for meditation and free from worries.

“Peace of Mind” represents how I feel and what I am thinking while I’m meditating- vibrant colors, abstract patterns, and a wandering mind.

Innocence of Beauty

“The Innocence of Beauty”- 14″x11″ Mixed Media Paper- Watercolor Pencils A visual representation of the beauties and positives of life

“The Innocence of Beauty” represents what I visualize in my head when I feel “beautiful” or “happy”- whether it is walking through a national park or going on my favorite Disneyland ride.

Visit Max’s official portfolio website, MaxLazebnik.com. Visit Max’s art gallery, SURREBRAL at Surrebral.com.

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