Max Bickelhaup: Local Roswell artist 


This is Bickelhaups favorite painting titled ‘Recover’ as mentioned in our interview. It is a part of his Brainscape collection shown in the Drawing Room. Picture Credit: Max Bickelhaup

Drew Maddox

Appreciating local artists in your area is very important, as they often don’t get the credit they deserve. Max Bickelhaup is an up-and-coming artist and actor who has lived in the Roswell area his whole life. He creates work with unique and diverse components. 


Bickelhaup has paired up with an interior designing group located in Atlanta known as The Drawing Room. Currently, The Drawing Room has a display of his work as a part of their TDR collection. I visited The Drawing Room to view Bickelhaup’s display of three of his pieces. It was exotic and neat, and I am in love with the consignment of colors used in his work, and the environment of The Drawing Room really drew my attention to the art. Anyone who sees this exhibit in person is sure to get instantly inspired. 


Credit: Drew Maddox

I asked Max some questions that I had about his career to get a better perspective on what he does. 


DM: What inspired you to be an artist? 


Max: It’s really hard to put past tense on inspiration because I am constantly being inspired all the time. So I guess you could say what inspires me to be an artist? Well, that’s actually a very difficult question to answer, or should I say it’s hard to put my answer into words. But I will say I am in a state of constant exploration. I am constantly searching for answers, reasons, and the meaning of life just like everyone else, for me I have always searched for those answers through art and self-expression. But it’s very important to understand that art isn’t just painting or acting, art can be anything really. For me, there’s only one rule when it comes to art and it’s that there are no rules. I am constantly finding inspiration through avenues outside the canon or scope of traditional art. 


DM: How long have you been doing this and will you continue?


Max: I have been doing this since the day I was born really. Now I wasn’t pursuing a career in art or acting since the day I came out of my mother’s womb but being an artist has always been in me. I was drawing since the day I can remember. My parents would buy me drawing pads that I would fill up front to back. Early on I was really into drawing comic book characters. My early sketchbooks are filled with muscle-bound superheroes, like ones with biceps bulging out of their brains. It’s important to note that there have been times where I have completely stopped working as an artist. There are times where I have gone four or five years without making a single piece of art. But it never worried me, I was preoccupied with other things. Being an artist never leaves you, it’s always inside of you, you just have to find a way to unlock it. I will always be an artist forever, for the rest of my life and even after I’m gone.


DM: What do you think your favorite piece is? 


Max: My favorite piece that I’ve ever created isn’t even a painting. It was a conceptual art piece that I made in college. It was a combination of sculpture and performance art. It’s called ‘The Funeral.’ One day I was cleaning my apartment and I found my acoustic guitar knocked over and the neck of the guitar was broken at the headstock. It was completely snapped in half and wasn’t able to be fixed. I was in shock because I didn’t know how it happened and I really enjoyed playing that acoustic guitar. So for an art project, I wrote and recorded a song on my electric guitar as a eulogy, so to speak, for my acoustic. I used the Garage Band app and recorded like 12 different guitar tracks and made this really epic electronic-inspired song that sounded completely opposite from the sounds that my acoustic guitar would make. So for my piece, I displayed my broken acoustic guitar on a guitar stand and surrounded and wrapped it with a bunch of speakers and speaker wires that were plugged into my MacBook and I had the song I recorded on repeat over and over again. So the viewer would stand there and observe this old broken acoustic, wrapped in coiled wires and speakers while listening to this heavy electric guitar that plays on repeat. In the end, the piece was about moving on and how the end of one thing can bring the beginning of another, i.e., the broken acoustic gave way to new electric music.


As far as my favorite painting? That would have to be ‘Recover’ from my Brainscape’s series. It’s 30 x 40 inches, acrylic on canvas, it’s the piece that really got me inspired and painting again. 


DM: What inspired you to be an actor?


Max: As far as how I got into acting, it just happened one day really. I mean who doesn’t want to be in the movies right? I just saw it as another way to create art and express myself, although I will tell you, boy, was I in for a surprise when I first started. I thought you could just walk on camera and start acting but was I wrong, at least for me. I couldn’t even say my name on camera when I first started. For some people acting comes naturally, for me, not so much. But that’s ok because when you are able to come to terms with your ability in whatever it is you are doing, you are then able to see just how far you have to go and you can identify your areas of weakness and where you need to improve. So I take note of all my bad habits and falsehoods and work on them over and over again. I’ve come a long way but I have so much further to go. I feel like I am just now cracking the surface of my ability to act and really understand what it means to create real authentic characters.


DM: What films have you worked on recently?


Max: Most recently I went to New Orleans to work on the new show “Leverage: Redemption.” It’s a reboot of a popular TNT show from 2008 and it will be IMDB TV’s first original series on their new streaming platform and it will debut this fall. That was by far my greatest experience on set. I get to play a Canadian Mountie named Doug and I don this ridiculous, and hopefully not offensive, Canadian accent. It was so much fun. Also, you can see me in “Richard Jewell” directed by Clint Eastwood, and in episode one of season five of “Better Call Saul.” Getting to work with Bob Odenkirk on “Better Call Saul” was a dream come true being that I am such a big “Breaking Bad” fan. But if you blink you will miss me. That’s the thing with a lot of these roles where they cast local Atlanta actors, if you blink you can miss us! But we are changing that as we prove to Hollywood that we can hang with the big boys!


Not only is Max creative, but he is also extremely talented as he acts on a show called “Leverage: Redemption.” In the show, he plays as a Canadian Mountie with a hilarious accent. He hopes to shine even bigger someday as he has come so far, but there’s so much more to go to reach the top. Bickelhaup’s attitude towards his work has me exceptionally convinced that he will make it to a big-time movie someday, or even have his art showcased in a fancy museum.