William Max Kidwell (aka Bubba VonMax) is a painter, photographer, published author, avid fisherman, conservationalist and blogger.
VonMax’s paintings have been on display in a number of galleries throughout the South Western United States. VonMax is a frequent participant in monthly First Friday events, Art Walks and Art Detours through Downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale. He is the founder of the Phoenix Guerilla Stuckists. VonMax also donates time, materials and art to local Girl Scout troupes. VonMax has also donated paintings to a number of local charities an organizations including Barrow’s Neurological Institute.
Although he feels quite at home with the Remodernist Movement, VonMax’s history is deeply rooted in the Hot Rod Culture of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s as well as the surrealist “underground” world where his heroes including Von Dutch, Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth, Robert Williams, R. Crumb and James Flora lived.
“I didn’t know exactly what it was they were doing back then,” he says. “I liked the fact that Crumb and Williams drew and painted naked women but I just thought the style, the overall feel was just cool. Really, really fucking cool.”
Taking a page from Von Dutch, Von Max started painting the numbers and lettering on the local race cars and doing the pin striping on the cars that his dad would restore in his shop. “The guys and my old man woulkd throw me a couple of bucks every now and then,” VonMax says of the experience. “But to a 10 year old kid it was just fun. Cool that I got money but I would have done it for free just to hang around and listen to these guys talk.”
Occasionally he still incorporates pin striping and tattoo flash art in his work but these days most of what he does is on canvas….and other materials. A true conservationalist, VonMax is always making the rounds at the local Goodwill and other thrift stores as well as salvage yards and demolition sites to find old cabinets, wood panels, sheet metal or anything else that he might be able to paint on.
VonMax and his wife, Wendy reside in Phoenix, Arizona with their dogs and a coupe of outlaw cats. VonMax is a rabid Arizona Coyotes Hockey fan. They enjoy vacationing and finding time to head up to the mountains to fish and camp whenever they get the opportunity.