Personal History in Brief

Max Laverne Coffey, was born 24 November 1935, at the Coffey family farm, in Edgar County, Illinois, USA; the first of Wayne Alan and Janette Clare Coffey's ten children. I completed college programs in Industrial Arts and Art, post-graduate work in Art, Technology, Education and Business; and careers in Education and the US Air Force.

I started college in 1953. I explored technologies and visual arts. I found the misunderstandings and barriers between technology and fine arts amusing. I understood the similarities and differences and I enjoyed working in both areas.

A list of my aesthetic influences would have to begin with nature and my insatiable curiosity. My life is eclectic. I enjoy all the arts. I love to make things. I explored indigenous and ancient arts. The first influential artists and designers that I remember were from the Bauhaus school. I studied artists and trends through the nineteen sixties. After nineteen seventy, I continued to see and read about art. I watched trends come and go. I studied eastern philosophies and art. After retirement, I began making more art. Producing a collection of work for exhibition or sale was never a high priority, until the revelation of AMI.

The AMI project is the culmination of all my experiences. It represents the peak of my evolution as an artist.

Philosophy of Art

I prefer Minimalism and Zen aesthetics; but I am wary of labels and the limitations they impose. I have never joined a group or espoused a particular aesthetic.

Efficiency, or simplicity, is a foundational principle in all the arts. My definition of minimalism is: efficiency with an aesthetic component, a complexity component; and perhaps moral, emotional or other components.

My definition of art is: human expression, with an actor, a medium and a percipient. Initially, the actor is the sole percipient, in a creative feedback loop. The actor begins with an idea, gathers and interacts. The process generates more ideas, gathering and interacting. When the actor exhausts the potentials they perceive, the process ends. I stop when I can no longer see or do anything to improve the work.

Art is not description or representation of something else. The concept of art representing something else, lost its meaning as media technologies evolved.

Conceptual exceptionalism alone, is not art. An outrageous idea is not necessarily a good idea.

Art requires conceptual integrity and craftsmanship.

Art succeeds when it has its own intrinsic value.

Art is a synthesis of physical and metaphysical.

Art is a combining of concrete and abstract.

Art is not exclusive. Every person creates.

Personal Information

MaxKafe is a brand, and a professional name, used by Max Coffey.

  • Max Laverne Coffey

  • Birth date: 24-11-1935

  • Birth place: Family farm, Edgar County, Illinois USA

  • East Donica Rural Elementary School, Coles County, Illinois 1941-1948

  • Kansas Illinois Elementary School 1948-1949

  • Kansas Illinois High School 1949-1953

  • Eastern Illinois University, Charleston Illinois 1953-1954

  • US Air Force, Enlisted Instructor, Aircraft Instrument Repair 1954-1958

  • Eastern Illinois University, Charleston Illinois 1958-1961 Graduated BS Education, Majors: Industrial Arts and Art

  • US Air Force, 1961-1967, Officer, Navigator

  • Eastern Illinois University, Charleston Illinois, 1967-1968, Graduated, MS Education, Major: Art

  • Mesa Arizona Junior High School, Art teacher, 1968-1970

  • Arizona Air National Guard, Officer, Navigator, 1969-1979

  • Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 1968-1984

  • Mesa Arizona, Westwood High School, Art Teacher 1970-1971

  • USAF Air Command and Staff College, 1973-1974

  • Mohave Community College, Art Teacher, 1974-1978

  • Scottdale High School, Industrial Arts Teacher, 1986-1987

  • Family relocated from Arizona to Oregon, Summer 1987

  • Retired, USAFR, Major, 1995

  • Relocated to Kaiserslautern Germany, 2005