Max Thomson

Max ThomsonDP 3 -16.
Max ThomsonDP 5 - 16.

Max Thomson has always had an eye for detail. After working as a professional photographer for thirty-five years, Thomson has spent the last decade turning his creative talent to painting.

Born in Wanganui, Thomson moved with his family to Auckland as a teenager. Growing up, he claims, he had no particular interest in photography though his mother was a keen amateur photographer. Instead Thomson’s passions were painting and rock ’n’ roll music. Music took the foreground as he joined The Strangers and later The Pleasers. Once the bands had disbanded Thomson turned to photography and made a career for himself as a fashion photographer. 

In 2004 Thomson decided to retire and revisited his childhood passion for painting. His early life brought him in close contact with the landscape of the West Coast and Whanganui river. Landscape has carried a lasting interest in his works, exemplified by the 2015 exhibition After the Rain and 2017 exhibition Domain Paintings at Black Asterisk which both documented local parks such as Auckland Domain and Cornwall Park.

Influenced by a distinct impressionistic quality, Max Thomson's paintings capture light in a way that offers a sense of a very specific moment in time.

Thomson's current series In the Blue, offers closer attention to natire. The scenes, taken from real life then recreated with a hint of creative licence, though not monochromatic share a depth of palette united by an underlying blue tone.

Writing for the NZ Fashion Museum in 2017, Kelly Dix observed “(Max Thomson’s) works give a strong sense of space, with the framing and exposure reminiscent of his fashion photography. Whether he is deploying paint or film it is clear that his experimentation with light continues and his images remain vigorous and open.”