" "they say the strength of a Nation can be measured by the humour of its people""
Artist Max Mannix was born in Nyah-West, on the mighty Murray near Swan Hill in Victoria in 1939. At 16 years of age he left home to seek adventure in the outback. He spent the next 20 years droving, mustering, shearing and ultimately managing a 1300 sq. mile cattle station near Thargomindah in south west Queensland known as heartbreak corner. Throughout this time Max never lost his sense of humour.
Max Mannix's words to me, and I quote "they say the strength of a Nation can be measured by the humour of its people. If that's the case then I reckon Australia would have to be the greatest nation on Earth. I've spent much of my life travelling the outback, meeting all sorts of people but the ones I remember most are the larrikins and the jokers, you know, the real characters. They're the ones who can show you what life is about. It's been that way for a long time too. Banjo Patterson knew it and so did Henry Lawson. They spent most of their careers immortalising these folks in verse; I bring them alive on canvas, just as these legendary Australian balladeers intended full of the vitality, the humour and the spirit of our great Country."
These thoughts of Max, the colourful experiences of those years and his incredible ability to see the humour in even the worst situations has provided him with an endless flow of inspiration. Being a self-taught artist Max Mannix is a natural talent and his humour is uninhibited and his colourful paintings depict real situations and life in the outback as it was then, in a lighthearted vein, keen insight, gentle humour and wonderful depiction of our outback characters.
Max's style is inclined to the primitive and he works in a variety of mediums including oils, pastels, pen and ink, acrylics and etching.
His work is represented in Galleries and private collections throughout the world. His works have been the subject of many highly successful one-man exhibitions and have been reproduced on Calenders, Books and Prints. Max and his works have been included in all five editions of Kevin Hill’s “TOP TEN” Australian Artists books.