Max Massie

C.C.O. Cheif Curation Officer of Controversy where

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Controversywhere.com

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I LOVE L.A.

I'm a Semi negro, also known as a Halfrican American,  White Mother, Black Father. I understood from an early age that things are not Black or White.

My name is Max Massie, I'm a designer in Los Angeles. I've lived on the Westside , the Southside, the Northside and now the Eastside of the L.A. basin. I have traveled all over and there's no place like it. You can go to New York and live like a New Yorker for a week, you can go to Paris and live like a Parisian for a week. In Los Angeles the Life can be hidden because when you’re driving across it you miss so much. I am a Los Angeleno from Brentwood to Hollywood, from the Jungle to Downtown. Everyday is Training Day if you move through the City with the awareness. It's NWA and East L.A. all around and everyone’s on Camera. Controversy is everywhere.

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Controversy

I grew up with Muhammad Ali as my hero. He first taught me about courage with his verbal bravado. No one had seen a Black man speak with that type of Confidence and Clarity. He was considered controversial. The power of his words impressed me even more than his grace in the ring. He defined who he was and how he would be perceived through words and action.

"I had to prove you could be a new kind of black man. I had to show the world. "                           Muhammad Ali

"I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I'm in a world of my own.Muhammad Ali

Then he showed the courage of being willing to die rather than betray his beliefs. He gave up all he had built and accomplished, and was true to who he was and what he believed.

 "I Ain't Got No Quarrel With The VietCong ... No VietCong Ever Called Me Nigger" Muhammad Ali, 1966

 Ali did not fear the “Controversy” of being right, nor the consequences of others being wrong. He lived inside the Controversy and used its power to provoke thought.

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I believe contro- versy to be a misdefined word, as it's been viewed as entirely negative.

[Etymology]

From Old French controversie, from Latin controversia (“debate, contention, controversy”), from controversus (“turned in an opposite direction”).

DEBATE / CONTENTION - not conflict, not destruction, just the collision of opinions.

I want to use words and images to turn people from their anchored positions and provoke thought without being preachy. No one listens to preaching or pontification. 

VIOLENCE

Sam Peckinpah made one of my favorite movies, The Getaway. He is credited as the Godfather of Modern Film Violence. He explores the viceral connection beween emotional beauty and violence. By slowing the exploding richochets down, he made them more realistic and palpable. The presence of Violence that surrounds Steve McQueen gives him a readiness and an awareness.  The use of Violence is strategic and one can feel secure in knowing that if McQueen's character did it, it was justified.

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Violence comes in many forms and I want this Brand to explore why it is such a sedudtive media tool. The tools and gear of violence, from the Ninjas to Seal Team Six, are pornographic in their purity of design and visual power. The Brand will use this visual power, along with other references of justified violence (Tigers, Sharks, Iron Mike Tyson), to heighten awareness. 

Really the presence of humans has the potential for violence and conflict inherent in it and I think it's ignored or diregarded. It's the awareness that every animal has. I act like I'm in prison all the time, that something unexpected could happen at any moment. When you are wearing the word Controversy on your chest, it puts others in a mindset of asking "Is there a problem?" The answer is "There is somewhere." or "There could be at any moment so maybe you should be more aware."

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Mike Tyson made boxing violent. In college, we used to watch his first fights on CBS, before Gus died, before the tattoos, before the gatekeepers destroyed him. He'd come to the ring only wearing black shorts, no socks and the towel with a hole for his head as his robe. His calm face both masked and revealed a look of contained fury, predicting the violent action required for his very survival. It's that look that the Brand is interested in, not the actual punches. Alot of the battles were over before the bell because of this visual.

The Brand

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It's every where, and the Brand triggers an awareness.

Media uses 4 major forces to sell, the Brand will treat the forces as follows:

  • Sex- Too easy and not consistent with the brand. Sexy is cool though.
  • Violence - Used as Seduction and Strategic Awareness Hightener and must be justfied or implied. 
  • Politics - No politics, just provocation is the goal. Controversy (where? hopes to turn the Left and the Right, they may eventually face each other but the Brand could give a shit what they do as long as they turn. 
  • Philosophy - working on it...

Tumblr

http://controversywhere.tumblr.com

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Years ago when I first started developing this Brand, I made these tags with my friend and amazing gaphic artist, Lorna Turner, and they still rings true. The artwork above is on the front and back and I have quotes on the inside of each folded tag.

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Three Product Stories                                                                     

                                                       1 -   let your e go

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 E go

  1. ​the self, especially with a sense of self-importance    [ let   it   go ]  
  2. (psychology, Freudian) the most central part of the mind, which mediates with one's surroundings    [ unleash it ]

The E can stand for - Ego, Exstacy, Excitement, Energy, Enthusiasm, Errors, Emphasis, Empathy, Expertise, Enjoyment, Elastisity, Effort, Emergency, Ease, Electricity, Ectoplasm, Edge, Effigy, Endorfins, Exuberance, Extravagance, Entanglements, Epiphany, Explosion,  Eruption, Eroticism, Enlightenment, Encouragement, Eros, Effervesce or Euphoria.

                                                            2 -  King Stupid

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This note was left on my car one day. I kept it because it was funny, but also because it had a street graphic quality that I liked. It was written by someone who had frustations with me and with English.  See how he tries to say "next-",  I think he wanted to say "next time I set yor car on fire Hijo de Puta!!". Anyway, I was going to put the whole note on a shirt just as a random thing with graphic power, but while playing with it, i realized the end of the word Fucking had the word "King" jumping from it and perfectly placed under it was the word "Stupid".

King Stupid was born. 

Stupid means Dope, so it feeds into street vernacular, like saying, "The King of Dopeness".

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Stupid also reflects the concept of a state of enlightenment in Eastern Philosophy "I know nothing, so I know everything".

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                                                      3 - Squirrel on Squirrel Violence.

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This is a drawing that my friend Tim Culloton did a long time ago. It was hanging in my buddy Brain's bathroom and I'd look at it everytime I took a piss. Brian had asked Tim for a drawing to put on t-shirts for a mountin bike team he was in. The organization running the mountain bike race rejected the image for being too controversial. After staring at it for years, I took a picture and deciced it definitely belonged on a shirt. 

This shirt  gets strong reactions regularly. For me, the power of the drawing is the senselessness of the act of violence depicted. It's basically a prison shanking between squirrels that seem to know each other. The body language and facial expressions show an unexpectedness, a betrayal. It's Bugs Bunny, next level. There is a realism that adds to the absurdity of cute squirrels doing some fucked up shit.

Look Book

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Stream of brand DNA:  http://controversywhere.tumblr.com

http://outlier.cc  is cotroversial 

This is a great story of investigation and utility against futility. The fact that they filled a market hole with quality products is inspiring. I learn alot from looking at some of other peoples projects today.

http://vimeo.com/41495120 

PRODUCT

SHIRTS

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                                                    BLAST SHIRT

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                                                                 the MARK

This is the Swoosh or Rhino. It's the mark I put next to the word controversy in my dictionary, blown up 1001 times.

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CAPS

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SCARVES

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and on and on till the break....

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website

http://www.controversywhere.com 

Tumblr

http://controversywhere.tumblr.com

facebook

https://www.facebook.com/controversywhere

This video is totally Controversy.

http://vimeo.com/68634031

THIS PROCESS HAS BEEN THE SHIT. NO DOUBT JUST ACTION FROM HERE ON OUT.

THANKS MARC.

(let me turn that 5k into 50 million)

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