Ezra Maas

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Ezra Maas
Ezra Maas

(1950-01-01)January 1, 1950
EducationThe Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, the University of Oxford (disputed), Oskar Kokoschka’s School of Seeing, the AFI Conservatory Los Angeles
Movement Conceptual art, visual art, installation sculpture, literature, radical art, Neo-Dada, abstract art, expressionism, land art, assemblage, performance art, aesthetics, anti-pop, social philosophy
Spouse(s)Helena Maas
Patron(s)Hilary Banford, Marv Greenberg, H. Barton Wasserman, Leo Castelli, Virginia Dwan, Christiane Domino, Johnny Evans, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Helena Huston

Ezra Maas[1] (1 January 1950) was a radical and visionary British-born artist[2] who was known for his extreme secrecy, questions surrounding his identity, and his international cult following[3]. His work was linked with multiple art movements including conceptual art, surrealism, Fluxus[4], Neo-Dada, the avant-garde and transavantgarde, installation art, performance art, Oulipo, and multimedia art. He first became famous as a prodigy on the New York art scene in the late 1960s[5] with a series of controversial artworks and installations, which were associated with radical ideas, such as revealing the true nature of reality, philosophy and literary theory, phenomenology, quantum mechanics, mythology, esotericism, religious apocrypha, including the Tetragrammaton, pareidolia, number theory and numerology, cryptography, and accusations that his ‘happenings[6], installations, paintings, sculptures, text and mixed-media works induced psychosis, hallucinations, paranoid schizophrenia, drug use, altered states of consciousness, and violence. Maas’s work was often linked to the concept of the artist as shaman7[7]

Maas was notoriously reclusive[8]; few photographs of him have ever been published[9], and rumours about his location and identity have circulated since the 1960s[10]. At the height of his fame, Maas never appeared in public[11], even to attend his own openings and exhibitions. To this day, questions persist as to whether Ezra Maas was one person or a collective of artists using the name[12]. Despite this, Maas was a hugely influential figure among other artists[13] - often described as the artist’s artist[14] (Archer, 1997) - while his work also sold for huge sums of money in the 1970s and 1980s, ranking highly among the most expensive art ever sold[15]. This provided him with the wealth to withdraw from the art scene and isolate himself from the world completely. After years working in seclusion, Maas disappeared under strange circumstances[16] from his studio mansion in England in 2005 and is presumed dead. 

In 2018, British journalist Daniel James[17] published ‘The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas’[18], - a hugely ambitious and controversial biography of the artist, which was shortlisted for The Guardian’s ‘Not The Booker’ Prize in 2019[19]. James’s ‘Unauthorised Biography’ reignited conspiracy theories about Maas’s real identity[20] and the alleged apocalyptic messages concealed within his radical artwork[21], which brought together controversial ideas from science, religion, philosophy, literature, theory, genetics, and more, in unique and often boundary-breaking ways. During his life, Maas was compared to and linked with figures such as Thomas Pynchon, Howard Hughes, David Bowie, Samuel Beckett, Bob Dylan, Joseph Beuys, and others. His refusal of early fame[22], reclusive and secretive nature, and his eventual disappearance has seen Maas described as ‘one of the greatest mysteries of the art world[23].

Personal Life and Questions of Identity

Maas’s personal absence from the media[24] and refusal of celebrity[25] is one of the notable features of his life, and it has generated many rumours and conspiracy theories about his identity, which extend back to his birth[26] (James, 2018). Maas was reportedly born in the United Kingdom, on 1 January 1950, leading his followers to describe him as the ‘zeitgeist of the post-war era’[27], although there have been some claims (most notably those made by James in ‘The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas’) that the artist was actually born in 1947[28]. The exact date remains unknown as his birth records were allegedly destroyed in a fire[29], although this too has been questioned by historians[30] (Stephens, 1985). There have also been even wilder claims[31] that this entire backstory, including his supposed childhood in Oxford, was a hoax and that ‘Ezra Maas’ was a pseudonym for another artist or collective of artists who first came together in New York in the late 1960s (Bantum, 1989). These accusations and counter-claims[32] illustrate the many problems in providing an accurate biography of Ezra Maas.

Childhood and Education

A child prodigy[33], Maas drew comparisons with other celebrated wunderkinder such as Mozart and Picasso, by painting, drawing, and sculpting from the age of fiveCite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). , where he reportedly developed his interest in interdisciplinary methods, mythology, and pagan imagery, and later attended classes at the Ruskin School for Drawing and Fine Art.  It was here that he first became friends with American artist R.B Kitaj[34]. The Maas Foundation’s official biography describes Maas’s childhood as ‘perfectly happy, filled with creativity and exploration’[35], referring to this as a time of ‘accelerated evolution’ during which ‘Ezra embarked on a self-imposed course of personal development, immersing himself in Western and Eastern philosophy…’[36]. However, James’s ‘Unauthorised Biography’ paints a radically different picture. His account of Maas’s childhood[37] alleges a history of psychiatric treatment, including sessions with Dr Alexander Bion and John Bowlby[38], where Maas was diagnosed with profound synaesthesia, and describes a young man haunted by personal tragedy[39], the full details of which were only discovered and revealed by James during the extensive research undertaken for his controversial ‘Unauthorised Biography’[40]. Maas’s education was also a source of controversy in later years. As a teenager, he allegedly enrolled at the University of Oxford, although this has since been disputed by the university itself[41], and was the subject of a long-running legal battle[42] (McCulloch). Maas was also linked with spells in education at Oskar Kokoschka’s School of Seeing and the AFI Conservatory at the American Film Institute in LA[43]

Early Fame and Conspiracy Theories

Maas first became famous on the New York art scene of the mid-1960s[44] (James, 2018). There are conflicting stories about how this British-born artist ended up in New York as a teenager, many of which are explored in Daniel James’s ‘Unauthorised Biography’. Maas reportedly[45] lived and sold early artworks on the streets of Greenwich Village where his first ‘happenings’[46] and exhibitions took place.

Within months of his arrival in the US, Maas was the talk of the art world[47] and his work was hot property amongst gallery owners and investors despite the scarcity of information about the artist, conflicting stories about his real identity[48], and his refusal to meet in person or appear in public. In his early days, Maas was seen as a successor to both the abstract expressionists, such as Rothko and Willem de Kooning, of the 1950s, outliers such as Robert Rauschenberg, and the pop artists of the early 1960s such as Jasper Johns, Lichtenstein, and Rosenquist. His extreme secrecy and reclusive nature only heightened interest in his work and he quickly developed a cult following. 

Due to his sudden rise to fame, various conspiracy theories emerged suggesting that Maas had powerful friends, including an alleged association with the MK Ultra brainwashing and mind-control programmes, and accusations that he had been planted within the art world by the CIA, or other groups, for purposes unknown. This was one of the earliest of many conspiracy theories associated with Maas and his career over the years. See Corey Loeb’s extensive work on cults, D.A Forbes’s Maas Hysteria[49] (2004), interviews with Kim Stefanos[50], and J. Walker’s The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory[51] (2013) for a comprehensive overview of these and other claims. Maas was also tangentially linked to Revolution 9 and the ‘Paul is Dead’ conspiracy that plagued The Beatles from 1967 onwards, while another story, later recounted by Professor Brian Ward and Malcolm Bradbury, (author of The History Man), described how several fans believed Maas and Thomas Pynchon to be the same person after an incident in London[52]. These are just a snapshot of countless conspiracy theories relating to Maas[53]. Many of the stories are explored in depth in James’s ‘Unauthorised Biography[54]’.

During Maas’s early career he exhibited at New York galleries including Park Place Gallery, the Delancey Street Museum, Green Gallery, Anonima Studio Gallery, Livingston Gallery, NYU Grey Gallery, City Gallery, and Reuben Gallery, among others. Maas was also allegedly a regular at Max’s Kansas City and Andy Warhol’s notorious studio ‘The Factory’ until the latter’s near-fatal shooting by Valerie Solanas in 1968, in which Maas was briefly implicated, in yet another early conspiracy theory[55] (James, 2018)[56]. Maas was loosely associated with other prominent young bohemian and counterculture figures from the era, such as Bob Dylan, Marina Abramovic, Timothy Leary, Lenny Bruce, Dennis Hopper, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Hunter S Thompson, John Cage, and several others, particularly in the mainstream media[57] (TIME Magazine, Rolling Stone, The New York Times[58]). 


1960s and 1970s: Early Fame and Radical Art 

Maas emerged as an artist at a time, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when ideas of art were being shattered into many directions: Conceptual Art, Earth Art, Lyrical Abstraction, Minimal Art, Postminimalism, Performance art, and the continuation of Abstract expressionism, Colour field painting, Op Art and Pop Art, were just some of the diverse movements which appeared. Maas is often credited as being one of the key figures responsible for this ‘shattering’ of artistic conventions and standards[59] (Koolman, 1998). Several critics believed aspects of his art brought to life concepts and ideas from philosophy, literature, and critical theory, identifying parallels with Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, and others. Maas was particularly associated with work taking place at the innovative Park Place Gallery, although his happenings took place at multiple New York galleries. He worked with artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Nam June Paik, Eva Hesse, John Cage, Lynda Benglis, Louise Nevelson and his name was often referenced alongside the likes of Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, Carl Andre and others. According to several accounts[60], Maas was understood to be a regular at drinking establishments such as The Cedar Tavern and Max’s Kansas City at the time, but the lack of photographs, and contradictory eyewitness accounts[61], and other evidence, make these stories hard to verify, although both locations appear in James’s ‘Unauthorised Biography’ of the artist[62]. For a full list of Maas’s acclaimed artworks from this period, 1966-1969, and a selection of images go to: [www.ezramaas.com]. 

Maas in Hollywood

While being courted by infamous Hollywood producers such as Bob Rafelson, Bert Schneider, Marv Greenberg, and Johnny Evans, Maas rented the art deco Sylvia North Building near Mulholland Drive, in the Hollywood hills. According to various sources, most notably the ‘Unauthorised Biography’[63] (James, 2018), Maas painted several artworks on interior walls of the property, allegedly in a deranged state, including occult and Qabbalistic symbols, which despite extensive refurbishment can still be seen today in certain lighting conditions. The mansion was later bought by film collector Alec Zimmer[64].  Maas worked on several experimental films during this period, including a project funded by the AFI conservatory, which developed a cult following on the midnight movie scene both in LA and New York[65]. The fate of Maas’s experimental film work, including collaborations with European director Stefan van Dorp and Chicago filmmaker Howard Alk, and in particular whether the allegedly mind-altering footage still exists, has long since been a source of speculation among the artist’s hardcore fans, cinephiles and academics, including Dr Thomas Watson[66], filmmaker Ross Fawcett[67], and contemporary LA film critic Johnny Rhizome[68]

The 70s

During the 1970s, Maas’s collaborated with several Feminist artists (including Cindy Sherman, Louise Bourgeois, Barbara Kruger) and with the Land Art movement. There were rumours of several large-scale land art sculptures created at undisclosed locations across the United States that were never found[69]. Several theories placed at least one of the sites in Arkansas[70] - a claim backed by local news reports in the late 1990s[71] after the partial discovery of an underground sculpture by a pair of farmers. The nature and locations of these secretive projects were hotly debated at the time by fellow artists such as Robert Smithson, Walter De Maria, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, and Richard Long.

As well as Land Art, Conceptual/Performance, Process Art, and Feminist Art, Maas was also associated with groups such as the Students for a Democratic Society, the Revolutionary Youth Movement, and a number of other student-led, radical Left Wing, civil rights, and anti-capitalist initiatives. He was also said to be personal friends with Stokeley Carmichael [72]. Towards the end of the decade, Maas left New York and Los Angeles for Europe in what was seen as a formal exodus from the United States[73].

Maas in Europe

Maas lived between Berlin, Paris, Bruges, Zurich and St Petersburg (pictured below) after leaving the USA[74]. In Berlin[75], he was rumoured to have begun a friendship with David Bowie while the two were both living on Hauptstraße in Schöneberg, which later led to rumours that they were the same person[76], although it has been said that this started as a joke between the two and the pair were both complicit in spreading the rumour. Maas was also said to have been a regular presence at the legendary Hansa Studios on Köthener Straße in Kreuzberg, and underground clubs such as Dschungel bar on Nürnberger Straße. Maas’s time in each of these European cities is further explored in James’s ‘Unauthorised Biography’[77].

1980s and 1990s: Big Business and Further Withdrawal from Public Spotlight

While it is generally agreed that Maas’s career was at its artistic peak in the late 1960s and 1970s[78] with works such as Spectra, Tartarus, Chimera, Black Mountain, and Zeitroman, the 1980s saw his work sell for their highest amounts during the ‘Bull Market’ New York art scene. SoHo was the epicentre of this boom and Maas’s work was sold by dealers such as Leo Castelli, Ileana Sonnabend, and Mary Boone. Maas himself was more directly involved (and arguably more at home) in the DIY New Wave Scene and ‘critical theory meets punk rock’ atmosphere of New York’s East Village art scene and galleries such as International with Monument, the Fun Gallery, Nature Morte, and Cash/Newhouse. Although Maas remained active in the late eighties, nineties, and into the early 2000s, including collaborations with the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, R.B Kitaj, Joan Wallace, Laurie Anderson, Barbara Bloom, Nick Cave, Bryan Talbot, and Madonna in the 1980s, and the Young British Artists in the 90s, he was largely an absent figure[79]

Later work, such as Zeno 9, Tmesis, and Volta[80], included a focus on multimedia and computer art, including early pioneering forays into online multiplayer gaming, wearable computing, social gaming, social media, mobile apps, augmented reality and other areas. At the same time, Maas pursued his long-standing interest in ‘analogue’ machinery and traditional, centuries-old techniques, particularly traditional printing presses, which he collected. He was said to have owned Original Heidelberg Platen Press Heidelberg, [ vandercookpress.info/korrex.html Korrex Nurnberg], Autovic, [vandercookpress.info/korrex.html Vandercook], Farley and Loaring machines, which were stored (and later auctioned) in his studio at the time of his disappearance. There were many conflicting stories about his activities at the time, with no photographs, recordings, or sightings of Maas during these decades. Eisner Award-winning comic creator Bryan Talbot[81] has talked about his experience of working with Maas[82], the artist’s eccentric behaviour, and the importance of dreams and the subconscious to his work. Extracts from Talbot’s video can be viewed on YouTube[83].

Recurring symbols and imagery

Themes, motifs, and images that recur throughout Maas’s work include the labyrinth from classical Greek mythology, the concepts of rhizome and dasein from philosophy, the theme of entropy, the triptych, anarchism, the cult of celebrity, anti-capitalism, philosophy, consciousness, language and the Tower of Babel, signs and semiotics, numbers, number theory, and numerology, dreams, identity and the self, doorways, quantum mechanics, codes and hidden messages, digital physics, mise en abyme, madness, religious apocrypha, subconscious drives, immortality, the apocalypse, and more. Maas was said to have viewed these concepts as a replenishing resource for an era of spiritual void, particularly myth[84]. This belief had begun decades earlier, through his reading of Carl Jung, T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Thomas Mann, among many others. If these accounts of his childhood are accurate, Maas was a voracious reader and polymath[85]

Marriage and Personal Life

Maas is understood to have married Helena Huston[86], a wealthy heiress and art collector, in the late 1970s or early 1980s, although the ceremony was held in secret and details have been near impossible to verify. See James’s ‘Unauthorised Biography’ for more on this. There were also suggestions they had a child and rumours, most notably in the British tabloid newspaper, the News of the World[87], that Maas may or may not have had numerous other children with various other partners over the decades, but these claims have never been proven. 

Return to United Kingdom

In the years after the ‘marriage’, Maas was said to be living and working almost exclusively from a studio mansion in remote woodland in the English countryside, rumoured to be a sister property of nearby Childwickbury Manor, Hertfordshire, and had little contact with the outside world for the best part of two decades. However, as ever with Maas, there were contradictory accounts, including suggestions his seclusion in a remote mansion was a convenient cover story that allowed him to live and work elsewhere. One news report from December 1989 in the News of the World[88] said Maas had been hiding in plain sight in a major city for several years. Another newspaper article from The Scotsman[89], (January 1991) instead claimed Maas had been living on an island on the West Coast of Scotland after various alleged sightings in the Wester Ross region of the NorthWest Highlands, including the Torridon mountain range and the [[Applecross Peninsula].  

The Maas Foundation

Dedicated to protecting the legacy of Maas, the organisation which would become known as The Maas Foundation is believed to have started life in the late 1960s as several small, disparate groups of followers who were fiercely devoted to the artist and his work. These groups, sometimes referred to as ‘cells’ and initially loosely associated, were linked with acts of violence and vandalism, graffiti and other anti-social behaviour, and were often labelled as a cult by the media and other detractors. In the late 1960s, Maas’s followers were regularly compared to groups such as The Manson Family, The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, The Weather Underground Organisation, Father Yod and the Source Family, and later to organisations such as the Church of Scientology, the Transcendental Meditation Movement, Anonymous, and Cicada 3301[90]. The Maas Foundation’s official website, remains active and includes details on how to contact the organisation. 

Claims of Being A Cult

“It is hard not to see the enigmatic Ezra Maas as a kind of cult leader who appears to be drawing his many followers inexorably into the maze of the occult à la Blavatsky and Crowley. At the centre of the labyrinth is the counterfeit promise of ultimate truth through self-divination." - John Foster, Fundamentalist Friends of Humanity[91].

The Maas Foundation has consistently been one of the most controversial organisations or estates ever to have been associated with an artist and their work. As well as being accused of being a cult and accusations they have used agencies such as Black Cube[92] and Ghost Box as security and intelligence contractors, there have also been allegations of criminal behaviour including hostile action against its critics, organised harassment, acts of violence and intimidation, fraud and tax evasion. A collective of Maas followers calling themselves ‘The Children of Maas’ attracted attention for acts of graffiti and vandalism carried out while wearing animal masks, notably a pig, dog, and cat, in the late 1990s and early 2000s[93]. The Maas Foundation has officially distanced itself from this ‘rogue’ group[94].

Later Years

Following the formalisation of The Maas Foundation into a global and highly organised, ‘charitable’ organisation[95], Maas retreated even further from the public spotlight and reportedly devoted himself entirely to new artistic works. As a result, other than the sale of older works for increasingly large sums, ranging from $250,000 to more than $1m[96], Maas was rarely seen or heard from for almost two decades from 1980 onwards. His sporadic output in these years largely focussed on new technologies, and computer generated, multimedia art. Maas was also said to have maintained a long distance friendship with the theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler[97], one of the ‘monster minds’ of quantum mechanics, who he first met in the late 1960s, including late night phone conversations that explored the concepts of the ‘many worlds interpretation’ of quantum physics, the ‘ participatory universe’, ‘it from bit’, and ‘genesis by observership’. During this period, there were numerous wild stories told about Maas’s health, behaviour, and whereabouts, as well as the nature of his apocalyptic ‘final work’ which he supposedly had gone into hiding to create. 

Disappearance and Alleged Death

In 2005, police were called to the remote studio mansion where Maas lived with his estranged wife, Helena[98]. It was reported that Maas had disappeared from within a locked room inside his home. Helena told police that she had not seen her husband for three years and did not know whether he had even been living in his studio or not, as he had been communicating with assistants exclusively through video link and the internet. As a result, no one had actually seen Maas in person for several years. Maas was never found or heard from again. In 2011, The Maas Foundation were rumoured to be on the verge of officially confirming ‘death by absentia’, although a press conference organised for late 2012 was abruptly cancelled[99]. Maas’s initial disappearance led to a resurgence of cult-like behaviour from fans and followers worldwide, including ‘Maas Lives’ graffiti tags re-appearing in New York, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Tokyo, Buenos Aires[100], and several other cities, for the first time in years after originally being seen in 1960s New York to mark Maas’s first informal happenings. 

Online Purge

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the highly litigious Maas Foundation were accused of purging all references to Maas from the internet in a bid to extend their control over any information relating to his artworks and legacy, including buying their founder’s art from galleries and collectors around the world and placing work in long-term storage at undisclosed locations. The Maas Foundation were subsequently accused of ‘airbrushing history’[101] in a Stalin-like attempt to rewrite the past and control reality. See King’s The Commissar Vanishes (1997) for more on this. It was only due to the efforts of British journalist Daniel James[102] that information about Maas began to resurface again in 2018, although the author claims there is an ongoing campaign by the Maas Foundation to undermine his work and ‘drown the truth’[103] in misinformation.

Rumours of Secret Archives

For decades, stories have been whispered by devoted fans and followers of the artist about the existence of thousands of pieces of rare archival material, handwritten notebooks, journals, audio recordings, personal photographs, letters, correspondence, and more (See ‘The Maas Tapes’[104], ‘The Maas Journals’[105]), initially collated by Maas himself and later curated by his closest followers, and that his secret archive exists at a single, climate-controlled private museum whose location is known only to The Maas Foundation. The stories have drawn comparisons to the long-rumoured Bob Dylan Archive[106], which was finally confirmed as existing after it was bought[107] by oil and banking billionaire George Kaiser and his Family Foundation for an estimated $15-$20 million. There are clear parallels to news reports, which saw The Maas Foundation publicly deny having turned down an undisclosed offer by French billionaire and art collector Bernard Arnault[108] to purchase the semi-mythical ‘Maas Archives’ for the LVMH[109] Foundation in 2012. 


“Ezra Maas was a reclusive genius, an outlier and iconoclast even amongst the avant-garde. Today, his name has all but disappeared from the public consciousness, but in the art world, and especially to his followers, he is regarded as one of the most important artists of the 20th century.”[110] - George Wallas, Former BBC Head of Arts. 

To this day, Maas remains an enormously influential figure among artists and a hugely enigmatic presence in 20th Century art and culture in general. In many ways, he is the quintessential artist’s artist. Contemporary artists who have spoken of the influence of Maas include Joanne Hutton, Bryan Talbot, Helen Gorrill, Michael Lacey, Andreea Teleaga, Serg Nehaev, Hanna Koolman, and many others, while academics continue to debate his legacy and impact. Professor Brian Ward[111], one of the UK’s most respected scholars of 20th Century US History, has described Maas as a figure who ‘hovered spectrally over American culture from 1950 to 2000’ and compared the problems of his biography to enigmatic prodigies such as Robert Johnson. Meanwhile, acclaimed literature academic, Dr Claire Nally[112], an expert on subcultures, discussed Maas alongside other controversial artists and writers, who have created radical artworks and fictions to disappear inside. She is credited with linking Maas and extreme performance artist Ron Athey, describing the former as an artist who worked in the shadows, an ‘absent centre’[113]. An extract from a documentary video interview filmed with Dr Nally was recently made available on YouTube. Like Nally, there are many out there who believe Maas will return one day. 

Attitude to Fame and Rejection of Celebrity

There has been significant debate amongst art historians (Archer, Berger, Hughes, Green et al[114]), cultural critics, journalists[115] (Wallas, 2005), and biographers[116] (James, 2018), about the true meaning of Maas’s attitude to fame and his categorical rejection of celebrity. While Maas’s behaviour has been compared to that of other notable recluses such as Howard Hughes, J.D Salinger, and Thomas Pynchon, there has been considerable disagreement about the artist’s intentions and whether his extreme secrecy was a philosophical statement, a publicity stunt, an experiment in mass manipulation, or something else entirely. Some of Maas’s followers (Webber[117], Hausmann[118]) believed his refusal of celebrity was linked to his spiritual beliefs and reflected his adherence to the ancient scriptures of Dhammapada. In particular the concept of Anatta or ‘non-self’, which states there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in phenomena.

“Allan Kaprow wrote about the unreal artist, a concept that should supplement the now over-conventional image of the ‘death of the author’. The artist was no longer a real entity…”[119]

Others (Atkins[120], Kenner[121]) saw it as a rejection of capitalism, the cult of celebrity, and the growing commodification of the art world. Journalists, such as George Wallas and others ( Gompertz[122]), meanwhile have drawn attention to Maas’s playful and sometimes combative relationship with the media, (Bob Dylan was known for doing the same, particularly in his early years[123]), where he and his followers were known for wilfully spreading false and untrue stories to reporters to undermine and subvert the press, and destabilize the concept of objective truth. And perhaps these experiments with truth, mass perception, and identity, were themselves a form of conceptual art – part of Maas’s ‘true’ work[124]. Comparing the relationship between Maas and the media with that Warhol, Kerouac, Dylan and others. On the latter, Wilentz[125] writes:

“There was a certain kind of fabulism as he was making his way… then he sees the stuff gets printed. It’s myth-making and image-making… [and yet] was the artist. All the press could do is feed off of him. And when they were done with you, they’ll spit you out into the gutter. It happened with Kerouac. They could destroy you if you let them.”[126]

In the late 1960s, Maas was seen as the antithesis of Warhol[127] who courted fame and celebrity, while his seemingly ever changing identity and characteristics were later said to have been an inspiration for Bowie, who similarly invented alternate personas for himself and moved between with increasingly fluidity. It is fair to say that a number of artists and contemporary figures who have achieved fame through anonymity, such as Banksy[128] for instance, would likely not exist without Ezra Maas. The Maas Foundation has always maintained that their founder simply wanted to let his work speak for itself and had no desire to be known for anything else other than his art. Today, Maas’s reaction to fame, the cult of celebrity, and controlling his own narrative, has taken on new meaning in the post-truth and fake news era, and arguably feels even more relevant, and more revolutionary, than ever before.

Maas Lives and other Guerrilla Activity

‘Maas Lives’ graffiti tags continue to appear in cities around the world to this day[129], as well as online codes, numbers, and hidden messages (including internet pages, pre-recorded phone messages, original music, and musical cryptograms, bootable Linux CDs, digital images, physical signs, film footage, and more) exchanged and disseminated on sites such as 4chan[130], Reddit and elsewhere. As a result, the ‘Maas Lives’ movement has been linked with Cicada 3301[131], Anonymous, Internet subculture, and several other contemporary conspiracies. Most recently, independent Canadian scientist and researcher, Dr Kosher Cavell[132], made a series of claims linking predictions allegedly contained in Maas’s artworks to the Covid-19 pandemic and several other contemporary global catastrophes. The attempt to link Maas to topical events and make him responsible for the current ‘zeitgeist’ has been a recurring feature of his followers’ behaviour, and attempts to continually reposition his legacy, throughout his career. At the time of writing, ‘Maas Lives’ references continue to appear worldwide with increasing regularity.    

Conflicting stories and Unreliable sources

Maas’s legacy is complicated by a proliferation of conflicting and unreliable sources and accusations that news reports, photographs, official documents, and more, have been falsified and manipulated over the years[133]. While James’s ‘Unauthorised Biography’ has become an indispensable text for understanding and decoding the many, diverse narratives surrounding Maas’s life and work, the British author’s controversial interpretation of events, choice to present multiple, conflicting sources alongside one another, and his reliability as an objective biographer, has been fiercely contested by The Maas Foundation[134] and their hagiographic account of their founder’s life[135]. In response to the media coverage surrounding James’s book[136], the Maas Foundation hurriedly released an ‘official’ biography[137], Ezra Maas: A Life in Art[138], which was ostensibly edited by his wife and partner, Helena. The book was never made widely available however and was removed from circulation altogether after accusations it was part of a coordinated campaign to ‘gaslight’ the public. Other biographers and journalists have attempted to separate fact from fiction in Maas’s life and work previously without success. To date, James’s book remains the only biographical work about the artist in the public domain and is considered by many to be the definitive text about the life and work of Ezra Maas[139].   

Controversy around ‘The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas’.

In 2011, six years after Maas’s disappearance, controversial British journalist Daniel James was reportedly hired to write an ‘Unauthorised Biography’ of the missing artist. Rumours were circulating at the time that The Maas Foundation was on the verge of officially announcing Maas’s death by absentia[140]. Under UK law, the family or estate of anyone presumed dead must wait seven years before the individual can be classed as deceased. James was given 12 months to publish the true story of the artist’s life, but while he completed his manuscript in time, legal battles between his publisher and The Maas Foundation prevented the book from being released until November 2018. In 2019, the book was shortlisted for The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize[141], but did not receive the prize despite winning a public vote twice. The Maas Foundation denied any involvement[142]. Months later, the first edition of the book was forced out of print entirely after The Maas Foundation’s lawyers further exerted their pressure. James - who had relocated to the United States after The Guardian[143] controversy - walked away from the book’s original publisher and is believed to be working on a new and definitive edition of The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas for release in May 2022. 


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  • Atkins, TJ, Critical Maas: A Life in Art, Bloomsbury, (1987), ISBN 978-21298-21-3
  • Auge, M, Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity,= Verso, 1992, ISBN 8601404397103
  • Baillie-Smith, A, Z is for Zurich: Maas in Switzerland, Winter Hill Boo= ks, (1994), ISBN 2-5693-911245-1
  • Bantum, I, Masterpiece: How One Artist Fooled The World, Cook and Co Pr= ess, (1990) ISBN 0-15-0145615-4
  • Barnes, M, Elblondino in the West, Cucumber Press, (1991), ISBN 978-000= 31-911
  • Barnsley, L, New Perspectives: Post-War Artists, Oxford Books, (1995) I= SBN 98-11134-72391-1
  • Barnard, L, Topology of the Mind: An Illustrated Guide, Peterborough Pr= ess, (2001), ISBN 2-679-012311-1
  • Barrow-Wearmouth, H, The Road to Hell: Ergodic Art and Intermedia Perfo= rmance, Johnston Press, (1999), ISBN 9-1= 4529-3881-1
  • Beauvais, A, Exposing the Truth: Power and Propaganda in the Age of Fak= e News, Le Monde Books, (2010), ISBN 0-75901-23941-1
  • Beauvoir, S, The Ethics of Ambiguity, Open Road Media, ISBN 978-1504054225
  • Berger, J, Ways of Seeing, Penguin Books, (1972), ISBN 0-14-013515-4
  • Blacklock, V, Apples and Black Coffee: An Artist=E2=80=99s Life, Elliso= n Books, (2011), ISBN 3-62901-42971-3
  • Bogain, A, Rum, Rum, Rum: Maas Under The Influence, St Germain Books, F= rance, (2001), ISBN 873-4529-1552-9
  • Bogenschneider, JL, New Fictions: Intersections in 20th Century Art and= Contemporary Literature, Eden Press, (2001), ISBN 978-1312453266
  • Boyle, T, Artistic Horizons, Devil Dinosaur Books, ISBN 978-15040542
  • Brownlee, L, Mining the Past: Archaeologies of Knowledge, Durham Press,= (1997), ISBN 454-01129-989-12
  • Buchan, P, The Heart of Things, Bleach Books, (2001), ISBN 978-45431-98= 1
  • Camus, A, The Myth of Sisyphus, Vintage International, (1942), ISBN 978-0141023991
  • Cann, H, Mapping Reality, Moon Palace Books, (2004), ISBN 399-08791-565= 0-2
  • Castel, E, The Image Tells Me Death In the Present: Maas and Photograph= ic Art, Dionysus Books, (1991), ISBN 787= -0194-404-1
  • Carroll, S, Something Deeply Hidden, Elcot Press, (1985), ISBN 9-014921-041
  • Chambers, R, The King in Yellow, F. Tennyson Neely, (1895), ISBN 978-1840226447
  • Cook, M, Totality of Informational Objects, FME Books, (1996), ISBN 7010-00344-0-111
  • Collins, J, Hardboiled Art, Neo-Noir Press, New Zealand, (1995), ISBN 0= 0110-4330-1001 
  • Corrao, M, Exploring the Gutter: Marginal Spaces in Art and Literature,= Smut-Maker Press, (2010) ISBN 1-92239-4= 664-21
  • Cornis-Pope, New Literary Hybrids in the Age of Multimedia Expression, = John Benjamins Publishing, Amsterdam, (2014), ISBN: 978-90-272-3463-6
  • Cozell, K, Memories of the Future: Apocalypse Now?, Whitfield Books, (2= 020), ISBN 6-90101-345-971
  • Cullinane, M, The Dryer Will Change Your Life, University of New Cork, = (2008), ISBN 0-198234-89-11
  • Curtis, T, Continuous Spectra, Old London Books, (1991), ISBN 1-095134-= 98234
  • Crowley, A, The Book of Lies, (1912), ISBN 1-0877285160
  • Debord, G, Society of the Spectacle, Zone Books, (1967), ISBN 0-942299-79-5
  • Denness, J, Late 20th Century Gnomological Art, F is Fake Press, (1999)= , ISBN 0-770885206
  • Derrida, J, Glas, University of Nebraska Press, (1985) ISBN 0-8032-6581-6
  • Deleuze, G, & Guattari, F, A Thousand Plateaus, Les =C3=89ditions d= e Minuit, (1980), ISBN 978-0816614028=
  • Elliott, K, A Grammatology of Psychoanalysis in Late 20th Century Art, = Ryton Books, (2010), 978-0803265813 
  • Fawcett, R, Video Art and Hidden Signs: Transmitting the Real, BFM Book= s, (2003) ISBN 978-0803265813
  • Fallowell, D, 20th Century Characters, Vintage, London, (1994), ISBN 978-0803265813
  • Feynman, R, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. 1: Mainly Mechanics, = Radiation, and Heat, Addison Wesley, (1963), ISBN 978-0-1-34519-0
  • Fisher, Mark, Late Capitalism: Is There Any Alternative? Zero Point Boo= ks, UK, (2011), ISBN 978-1-84694-317-= 1
  • Forbes, D.A, Maas Hysteria: A History of Conspiracies, DSBF Press, (199= 8) ISBN 978-1-14392-535-1
  • Forbes, D.A, Pynchon Myself: The Untold Story, Brother Books, (2001), <= a href= "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/9781052937113" = class="internal mw-magiclink-isbn">ISBN 978-1-05293-711-3
  • Foucault, M, Death and the Labyrinth, Doubleday and Co Inc, London, (19= 86), ISBN: 0-8264-6435-1
  • Foucault, M, Madness and Civilisation: A History of Madness in the Age = of Reason, Random House, New York, (1965), ISBN 978-0415255394
  • Fulcher, G & Fulcher, P, Twin Psychologies and Fatal Symmetries, Ox= ford University Press, (2000), ISBN 9= 78-1-44691-412-3
  • Furno, J & N, Electronic Art and Modes of Production, Hepscott Book= s, (1989),  ISBN 978-1-94493-116= -5
  • Galmes, A, Maas in Spain: A Comprehensive Art History, Island Press, (1= 991), ISBN 978-1-34654-110-7
  • George, N, Temporal Lows: Depression and Time in the work of Ezra Maas,= Zero Sum Books, (2005), ISBN 978-080= 3265813
  • Glass, D, Into Infinity: Maas and the Impossible, 20th Century Books, L= ondon, (1993), ISBN 978-0803265813
  • Gorrill, H, Women Can=E2=80=99t Paint, Bloomsbury Books, (2020), ISBN 9781501352768
  • Green, C, The Third Hand: Collaboration in Art from Conceptualism to Po= stmodernism, University of Minnesota Press, (2001), ISBN 978-0816637133
  • Green, M, Ghosts of Maas: Research as Creative Practice / Practice as R= esearch in 20th Century Art & Literature, Antigone Press, (1999), ISBN 978-0803265813
  • Gray, A, Lanark, Canongate Books, (1981), ISBN 978-1782117148
  • Hausmann, R, Following the Maaster, Cambridge Press, (2008), ISBN 9781001452411
  • Heidegger, M, Being and Time, SUNY Press (1927), ISBN 978-1438432762
  • Hepworth, D, The Endless Library, Tyne Bridge Publishing, (2008), ISBN = 720-3116-4964
  • Hill, L, Antinomies of the Real, Routledge, (1994), ISBN 978-1113265813
  • Hillens, I, ISBN 978-4543211412
  • Hodgson, P, What=E2=80=99s Happening, Dude? Art in the 1960s, Stripes E= l Hodeo Press, (1996), ISBN 978-67131= 65211
  • Horne, B, Forgeries and Replicas: The Art of Reproduction, Printed Word= Books, (2001), ISBN 978-383122544
  • Hosay, M, Letters from M: Lost Correspondence, Francophile Books, (2002= ) ISBN 978-0803265813
  • Hossenfeld, S, Lost in Math, Hachette, (2020) ISBN 978-1541646766
  • Hopesmith, S, A Poetics of Sin: Studies of Negative Space in Post-War A= rt, Elspeth Books, (2020) ISBN 978-08= 03265813
  • Hughes, R, The Shock of the New: Art and the Century of Change, Thames = & Hudson, ISBN 0-500-27582-3
  • Hutton, J, Aporias: A Retrospective, Newbridge Books, (2001), ISBN 9-18= 44657477 
  • Ivanova, M, Rhizome: Secret Interactions & Hidden Meanings: The Int= ersection of Media and Communications with Literature and Art: 1950 to the = present, Liberia Press, (1998), ISBN 720-3116-4964-01
  • James, Daniel, The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas, 1st Edition, De= ad Ink Books, 2018, ISBN 978191158529= 9
  • James, Daniel, The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas, New and Expande= d Edition, 2021, ISBN 978-0913213-2<= /li>
  • Jameson, Fredric, The Detections of Totality, Verso Books, (2016), ISBN 978-1-78478-216-0
  • Janes, I, Politics, Poetics, Culture, and Jack Daniel=E2=80=99s, Hancoc= k Press, (2001), ISBN 720-1065-1164-3
  • Jeffries, M, The Geography of Art as Investigative Anthropology, Zine P= ress, (1999), ISBN 720-0116-1222-1
  • Jeffrey, R, The Last Beat, Tome Books, (1995), ISBN 978-2051-2994-1
  • Kaku, M, Physics of the Future, DoubleDay Books, (2011), ISBN 978-0-385-53080-4
  • Karabekian, R, Be Careful What We Pretend To Be: The Art of Performance= , Bluebeard Books, (1979), ISBN 978-1001-3511-1
  • Kelly, M, Unknown Country: Historical Mysteries in Contemporary Art, Br= idge Press, (1999), ISBN 720-022-4554-01
  • Kendal, R, The Meditative Relationship between Modern Art and Cycling, = (1995), Bay City Books, (2002), ISBN 978-113-54579-1
  • Kenner, E, H.W Maas: The Tangier Letters - 1945-1965, Routledge, (1980)= , ISBN 978-019034-1
  • Khan, H, Proto-conceptual Art: Maas, the Japan Years, JR Books, (2002),= ISBN 978-2-45472-3
  • King, V, Coffee and Apples: A Writer=E2=80=99s Life, Ellison Books, (20= 11), ISBN 0-393-00079-6
  • King, D, The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Art and Photograp= hs in Stalin=E2=80=99s Russia, Canongate, (1997), ISBN 978-0-86241-724-6
  • Koolman, H, New Perspectives on Contemporary Art, Kingston Books, (2007= ), ISBN 978-12065-342-1
  • Lacan, J, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, W.W Norton B= ooks, (1974), ISBN 0-393-00079-6
  • Lacey, M, A Short History of Tall Collage Arts, Ambient Media, (2009), = ISBN 978-3-65611-5
  • Law, J, Methodological Rationale for the Taxonomy of Post-War Conceptua= l Art, ISBN 978-393-2547-1
  • LeVay, A, The Satanic Bible, (1969), ISBN 0-393-00079-6
  • Linde, A, Particle Physics and Inflationary Cosmology, (1990), CRC Book= s, ISBN 978-3718604906
  • Loeb, C, The Follower and The Following: A Tangled History of Cults and= Conspiracies, Third Eye Books, (1999), = ISBN 978-23761-98-0
  • Lopez, B, International Literary Review: Post-War Artists, University o= f Madrid, (2000), ISBN 978-04571-989-0
  • Lowes, R, Woman in Black: A Study of Helena Maas, Brunel Books, ISBN 97= 8-23311-545-0
  • Lusted, K, Eastern Influences, New Tokyo Press, (1999), ISBN 978-1504054225
  • Maas, H.E, Ezra Maas: A Life in Art - Collected Letters, Maas Foundatio= n Publishing, (2005),  ISBN 978-= 548901-879-0
  • MacIntyre, G, A Life In Journalism: From Barstools to Broadsheets, Beeh= ive Books, (2004), ISBN 978-15398-012-1
  • McCulloch, A, Maas Education: The Artist=E2=80=99s Early Years, Oxford = Comma Press, (1995),  ISBN 978-8891= 0-98-0
  • McHale, Brian, Postmodern Fiction, Methuen, (1987) ISBN 0-416-36400-4
  • McGee, S, There=E2=80=99s Someone In Your House, RBS Books, (1983), ISBN 978-567321-0
  • Mitchell, A, Who Shot The Sheriff?, Dunston Press, (1991), ISBN 978-29-= 030393-1
  • Molloy, S, Truth in The Age of Insanity, Soho Square Books, (2019), ISB= N 978-81923-011 
  • Moreno Esparza, G, Translations: New Studies in 21st Century Journalism= , Versus Press, (2014), ISBN 978-13392-834-1
  • Morgan, S, Death in the work of 20th Century Artists (Oh, Great Extinct= or), Boots & Co Books, (2001), ISBN = 978-01199-23-1
  • Morris, E, Conversations on Trains, Manor Books, (1997), ISBN 720-3116-= 4964-01
  • Moss, S, The Method of Totality, Van Life Media, (2011), ISBN 978-01199-23-1
  • Moss, S, Land Art, Sound, Literature - An Odyssey Across America, Van L= ife Media, (2009), ISBN 978-01199-23= -1
  • Murray, L, Salt Lake City, Baby, Murritski Press, (1999), ISBN 978-01199-23-1
  • Murphy, A, Forest of Signs and Symbols, University of Maynard, (1998) <= a href= "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/9783430100" cla= ss= "internal mw-magiclink-isbn">ISBN 978-34301-00
  • Nally, C, The Centre Cannot Hold: Death, Art, Literature, Goth Culture,= Black Cat Books, (2003), ISBN 978-45431-981
  • Napier, J, The Squared Circle, Wildcard Books, (2001) ISBN 978-45431-98= 1
  • Nash, M, Which World Is This? New Realities Press, (1998), ISBN 978-454= 31-981
  • O=E2=80=99Neill, P, The Comedy of Entropy, Toronto University Press, (1= 990), ISBN 0-8020-2737-7
  • Page, H, A Specified Egg: The Liverpool Art Scene, HP Press, (2001), IS= BN 978-454032-01
  • Palmer, JA, Cult Fiction: An Unauthorised Bible, Black Tee Books, (1989= ), ISBN 978-45431-981
  • Parr, C, Sound and Fury - The Trouble with Ezra Maas, ISBN 978-333401-0= 1
  • Pisani, R, Island Living: The Artist as Island, Maltese Falcon Press, (= 2009), ISBN 978-97524-89-1
  • Pill, T, A Design For Life, Cramlington Place Books, (2011), ISBN 720-3= 116-4964-01
  • Pool, J, An Infinite Sphere, University of Cambridge Press, UK, (1998),=   ISBN 978-90221-34-1
  • Ralph, M, You=E2=80=99re the Boss, Applesauce, Yaphank Press, Long Isla= nd, New York, USA, (2001), ISBN 978-34511-091
  • Reeves, N, Falling for Philosophers, Van Gogh Books, Amsterdam, (1991),= ISBN 978-45431-990
  • Reeves, N, Berlin, Bowie, and Ezra Maas: 1977-1979, Van Gogh Books, Ams= terdam, (1991), ISBN 720-3116-4964-01
  • Rhizome, J, Don=E2=80=99t Watch The Film: A Warning, Cult Press, (2001)= , ISBN 978-31190-881
  • Ring, P, Epistemological Architecture, ISBN 978-228190-09
  • Roden, I, Make Your Own Freedom, Epitome Press, (1994), ISBN 978-22301-44-1
  • Rovelli, C, Reality Is Not What It Seems, Penguin Books, (2017), ISBN 978-0141983219
  • Rudd, A, The Girl from Gateshead, Malbec Press, (1979), ISBN 978-79901-64-01
  • Sartre, J, Existential Is A Humanism, Yale University Press, (1946) ISBN 978-0300115468
  • Schober, R, The World Needs Tough Poets Too, Boston Books, (1985), ISBN 978-43109-01
  • Schlesinger, P. H, Maas and Memory: The Proliferation of False Memories= in Late 20th Century and Early 20th Century Culture, (2011), ISBN 978-5611= 3-001
  • Schlain, L, Art and Physics, Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light= , Perennial Press, HarperCollins, (1991), ISBN 0-688-12305-8
  • Sen, D, Pandemonium: Art and Chaos, New Delhi Press, (1989), ISBN 720-3= 116-4964-01
  • Sheldon, N, The Happening: New York Art from 1964-1969, Banana Bread Bo= oks, (1981), ISBN 941-1-08342-879 
  • Sheridan, A, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences,= Vintage Books, (1973), ISBN 978-1-85= 984-421-2
  • Slowey, A, Art in the Age of Aquarius, Wet Bandit Books, (1995), ISBN 7= 20-3116-4964-01
  • Smith, A, Performing Performance Art, Brown & Co, (1985), ISBN 454-= 1-0232965-2
  • Stefanos, Kim, A History of Religious Esoterica, Third Eye Books, Londo= n, (1979), ISBN 978-0-97801-23989
  • Stephens, R, American Dreamer, Kansas City Press, USA, ISBN 978-05981-4= 33-2
  • Stubbins, D, Between the Dimensions: Ezra Maas in the Seventies, Victor= y Books, UK, ISBN 720-3116-4964-01
  • Stuckrad, K, Western Esotericism, A History of Secret Knowledge, Routle= dge Press, (2005), ISBN 9-1844657477 
  • Summerfield, J, Maas and Mixology, Poison Cabinet Books, BX, (2000), ISBN 978-1-25214-555-2
  • Surtees, G, Black and White: Perspectives on the Art Industry, Kendal P= ress, (1991), ISBN 9-1844657477 
  • Squire, H, Truth and Perception: Conversations on Journalism and Art, Y= ork Media, (1985), ISBN 978-1-75183-5= 45-2
  • Taylor, C, Maas on Film, Jam Jar Press, (1991), ISBN 978-1-33934-515-2
  • Teleaga, A, Photographic Studies, Silver Press, (1979), ISBN 978-1-1598= 1-00-1
  • Thomson, C & Z, New Artistic Origins, St Peters Press, (1985), = ; ISBN 978-1-35934-224-2
  • Thomson, G, The Literature of Class Aesthetics, Lockhart Books, UK, ISBN 978-6-25654-221-2
  • Turner, R, Who was Adrian Nash? Lost Artist Series, RF Books (2004), IS= BN 9-1844657477 
  • Vale, J, Transference, Art in New York: 1965-1985, Getty Books, (1998),= ISBN 978-1-25914-525-2
  • Van-Hensbergen, C, A Brief History of Postmodern Art, Jesmond House Pre= ss, (1991), ISBN 978-1-25682-320-2
  • Various (Edited by Anonymous), Collected Essays on The Unauthorised Bio= graphy of Ezra Maas, Inside the Labyrinth Books, (2021), ISBN 978-02341-454= -0
  • Versluis, A, Western Esoteric Traditions, Versluis Books, (2007), ISBN 9780742558366
  • Wallas, G, Maas and the BBC: Interviews 1969-1979, British Broadcasting= Corporation Books, (2002), ISBN 978-= 1-15585-333-2
  • Walker, J, The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory, Harper C= ollins, (2013) ISBN 0062135554
  • Ward, B, Devil at the Crossroads: The King of the Delta Blues and the K= ing of Contemporary Art, Jumping Jack Books, (2003), ISBN 978-5-45681-523-3
  • Watson, T, Cult Horror Narratives: Maas and Absence, Chainsaw Press, Ne= w York, (2001), ISBN 978-4-15980-121-= 3
  • Watson, V, Literary Voices in New Visual Art, Di Meo Books, (2001), ISBN 978-0-15924-551-7
  • Waugh, A, Ghost Biographies, Birdseye Books, (2001), ISBN 978-23144-00-1
  • Webber, J, The Great One: Ezra Maas, Zeitgeist Press, (2006), ISBN 978-45331-99-2
  • Whetstone, D, Whatever Happened to Ezra Maas?, Culture Mag Press, (2004= ) ISBN 978-3-45581-221-5
  • Whitewolf, H, Albion! Albion! Maas and British Myth, Lone Wolf Books, B= righton, (2009), ISBN 978-4-90134-461= -3
  • Whitfield, P, Epistemological Continuities in Dead Time, Fowles Books, = (2012) ISBN 978-2-15963-711
  • Willis, N, Death and Illustration, Mortuary Press, (1999), ISBN 978-03121-13-0
  • Williams, T, Walking the Dog: Maas and Meditation, Ellison Press, (1998= ), ISBN 978-0-14951-701
  • Wilt, A, The Time Is=E2=80=A6?, 11:11 Press, Minnesota, United States, = (2018), ISBN 978-3-759032-622-5
  • Woolf, V, Orlando, Hogarth Press, (1928),  ISBN 978-1-853262395
  • Yau, J, In the Realm of Appearances, Hopewell, NJ, Ecco Press, (1993), = ISBN 0-88001-298-6.
  • Wojtas, O, An Education in Art: 1950 to the Present, Samovar Books, (19= 95) ISBN 978-3-41174-543-0
  • Zimmer, A, A History of Underground and Cult Cinema: 1958-1999, LA Skyl= ight Books, (2004) ISBN 978-03275-221-1
  • Zizek, S, Welcome to the Desert of the Real, Verso Books, (20= 02), ISBN 978-1-85984-421-2


  1. ^ Whatever happened to Ezra Maas?: [1]
  2. ^ Hughes, Robert (1991). The Shock of the New (revised ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 444. ISBN 0-679-72876-7.
  3. ^ [www.ezramaas.com]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ James, Daniel, The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas, 1st Edition, 2018, ISBN 9781911585299.
  6. ^ https://kcaiknowledgeexchange.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/allan_kaprow_notes_on_the_elimination_of_the_audience.pdf / [3]
  7. ^ “In the mid-20th Century, the role of the shaman had become a metaphor for the artist…” - Esther Pasztory: [4] /“In the mythic tradition, both artists and shamans walk perilously close to the realm of madness; indeed, in some cases, their gifts specifically come from journeying into madness and back again.”
  8. ^ James, Daniel, The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas, 1st Edition, 2018, ISBN 9781911585299.
  9. ^ [5] James, Daniel, pp. 5.
  10. ^ [6]
  11. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp.5.
  12. ^ Bantum, I, Masterpiece: How One Artist Fooled The World, Cook and Co Press, (1990) ISBN 0-15-0145615-4
  13. ^ Hughes, Robert (1991). The Shock of the New (revised ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 444. ISBN 0-679-72876-7.
  14. ^ Archer, M, Art Since 1960, Thames & Hudson, (1997), pp. 45.
  15. ^ "Regarding extraordinary profit associated with the sale of a certain painting owned by the company and revision of its consolidated operating result forecast" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2013-11-18 / Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  16. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’ pp.5-6.
  17. ^ [ www.danieljameswriter.com ]
  18. ^ James, Daniel, The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas, 1st Edition, 2018, ISBN 9781911585299.
  19. ^ [ https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2019/aug/06/not-the-booker-prize-2019-the-first-three-books-on-our-shortlist-are-]
  20. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp.11-12.
  21. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp.301.
  22. ^ [ https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/after-early-fame-what-became-13421004]
  23. ^ [ https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/after-early-fame-what-became-13421004]
  24. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp.11.
  25. ^ [7] Whatever happened to Ezra Maas?: [8]
  26. ^ James, Daniel, The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas, pp.29.
  27. ^ [ www.ezramaas.com/about ]
  28. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp.35.
  29. ^ Atkins, TJ, Critical Maas: A Life in Art, Bloomsbury, (1987), ISBN 978-21298-21-3 James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp.54-55.
  30. ^ Stephens, J, (1989) ISBN 978-032-355-001
  31. ^ According to Bantum (‘Maasterpiece: How One Artist Fooled the World’, 1990) this was all part of the ‘hyper-scam’ being conducted by a ‘committee’ of artists who created Maas as a project. However, Bantum was attempting to establish herself as a sculptor in New York at that time and had become increasingly frustrated by ‘cliquey and myopic’ galleries. Several sources close to her have since said that when she gave up on her art career she was ‘bitter and resentful, obsessed with exposing the cult and “killing the thing’’ - Bantum, I, Maasterpiece: How One Artist Fooled The World, Cook and Co Press, (1990) ISBN 0-15-0145615-4
  32. ^ www.ezramaas.com/news
  33. ^ The Maas Journals Vol. 1, 1950-55, pp. 15.
  34. ^ ‘Maas and Kitaj kept in touch throughout the decades and collaborated on The School of London project in the 1970s. At the time of Maas’s disappearance in 2005, Kitaj was living in Los Angeles where he was found dead in 2007. The death was ruled a suicide.’ R.B Kitaj: Edward Chaney, 'R.B. Kitaj (1932–2007): Warburgian Artist', emaj issue 7.1 November 2013, www.emajartjournal.com, pp. 1–34.
  35. ^ [www.ezramaas.com/about]
  36. ^ [ www.ezramaas.com/about]
  37. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp. 29-35.
  38. ^ Bowlby, John, From Psychoanalysis to Ethology, John Wiley and Sons. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3Nb_9lVkH8MC&printsec=frontcover&dq=John+Bowlby&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwijgeeMzYHrAhUuRBUIHS5-BicQ6AEwB3oECAkQAg#v=onepage&q=John%20Bowlby&f=false
  39. ^ Kenner, E, H.W Maas: The Tangier Letters - 1945-1965, Routledge, (1980), ISBN 978-019034-1
  40. ^ /
  41. ^ [www.oxforduniversity.com/news/announcements/maasdispute ]
  42. ^ McCulloch, A, Maas Education: The Artist’s Early Years, Oxford Comma Press, (1995),  ISBN 978-88910-98-0
  43. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp. 29-35.
  44. ^ Early fame: [9] / James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp.
  45. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp.
  46. ^ [10]
  47. ^ [ From the archives: www.teendreammagazine.com/news/features/archives/maasinnewyork ]
  48. ^ [ Bantum, I, pp. 93.]
  49. ^ Forbes, D.A, Maas Hysteria: A History of Conspiracies, DSBF Press, (1998) ISBN 978-1-14392-535-1
  50. ^ Stefanos, Kim, A History of Religious Esoterica, Third Eye Books, London, (1979), ISBN 978-0-97801-23989
  51. ^ Walker, J, The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory, Harper Collins, (2013) ISBN 0062135554
  52. ^ Ward, B, Devil at the Crossroads: The King of the Delta Blues and the King of Contemporary Art, Jumping Jack Books, (2003), ISBN 978-5-45681-523-3
  53. ^ ‘One of the strangest conspiracy theories claimed Maas was responsible for an elaborate hoax centred around a supposedly famous 18th Century play called A Bold Stroke for A Wife, which he had actually written in the late 1960s under the invented pseudonym of Susanna Centlivre. Maas had a history with forged documents (James, 2018) and the hoax was said to be an experiment in societal false memories, collective suggestion, and perception of reality - almost a reverse ‘Mandela effect', years before the term was coined’ -
  54. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’ (2018).
  55. ^ [ https://www.nytimes.com/1969/02/26/archives/actress-pleads-guilty-here-in-shooting-of-andy-warhol.html ]
  56. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp. 71-95.
  57. ^ 100 Greatest Artists of the 20th Century – TIME Magazine / 50 Radical Artists You Need To Follow, The New York Times: [11]
  58. ^ [ https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/06/arts/design/street-art-nyc-ezramaas.html]
  59. ^ Koolman, H, New Perspectives on Contemporary Art, Kingston Books, (2007), ISBN 978-12065-342-1
  60. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp. 69.
  61. ^ ‘Maas was a regular at all the NY nightspots, Max’s, Cedar Tavern, and everywhere else, but no one outside of his inner circle knew what he looked like. Everyone claimed to have seen him; everyone claimed to have a been on a wild night with Ezra Maas, but with so many sightings and so many stories, no one knew what was true and what was fantasy’. – Julia Deeley (Interviewed by Daniel James, 2011).
  62. ^ ‘Before I met him, they told me he was doing LSD, peyote, heroin, the whole lot…” Parker recalls. “But when I met him I didn’t see signs of drug use whatsoever…in fact, while everyone else was high, it was pretty obvious he was clean…what did become apparent was the lies he would tell about himself at every opportunity, and he had others lying for him too…’ – John Jones-Parker, Rolling Stone magazine: [12]
  63. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp. 29-35.
  64. ^ ‘Eccentric film collector Zimmer buys notorious LA mansion’: [13]
  65. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp. 111.
  66. ^ Speaking of Maas’s film work and alleged involvement with the underground art film, Absence, Dr Thomas Watson wrote: “…produced sometime in the mid-1970s and never gaining any official release, Absence is something of an anomaly within the field of film research and theory. Because the film itself has never been credited with any one director, or claimed by anyone as a specific authorial work, Absence has garnered a very forceful mythology surrounding its origins and intent. The date of the film is also something of an ambiguity, making it harder to frame the film in terms of any specific context. The mid-1970s has been adopted as a guide, based on the condition and subsequent degradation of the film’s only surviving print (no archival records have ever been found suggesting the existence of another).” – Watson, T, The Image Tells Me Death In The Future, The New Art, (2009).
  67. ^ Fawcett, R, Beware The Pig, Esoteric Books, (2012), ISBN 978-14460-003
  68. ^ Rhizome, J, Don’t Watch The Film: A Warning, Cult Press, (2001), ISBN 978-31190-881
  69. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, New Edition, (2021).
  70. ^ [ https://arkansascuriosities.wordpress.com ]
  71. ^ [ https://www.southarkansassun.net/news/arts/lostartsculpturefoundbylocalfarmer]
  72. ^ ‘Maas and the Civil Rights Movement’: [www.academia.edu.ac.org/maascivilrights/stokeycarmichael]
  73. ^ ‘What Happens Next?’ Art Forum, Issue VII: [www.artforum.com/news/archives/maas]
  74. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp. 29-35.
  75. ^ Reeves, N, Berlin, Bowie, and Ezra Maas: 1977-1979, Van Gogh Books, Amsterdam, (1991), ISBN 720-3116-4964-01
  76. ^ ‘This story about Maas and Bowie later incorporated into the conspiracy theories of Isabel Bantum (Bantum, I, Maasterpiece: How One Artist Fooled The World, Cook and Co Press, (1990) ISBN 0-15-0145615-4) who was one of the main figures to suggest Maas was the invented figurehead of a sinister group. It was later supported by Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing. Shortly before his death, Laing commented that Bantum’s concept of an organised ‘committee’ of artists might be better explained as a form of mass hysteria, in which a network of artists willed Maas into existence as a projection of their collective unconscious, potentially with no conscious knowledge that he was not a real person at all. Whilst seemingly made as a throwaway comment, some sources have since claimed Laing was leaving a critical clue that he was himself one of the co-ordinators of the Maas myth, which comprised a core component of a large-scale epistemological experiment.’ -
  77. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp. 29-35.
  78. ^ Hughes, Robert (1991). The Shock of the New (revised ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 444. ISBN 0-679-72876-7.
  79. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp. 29-35.
  80. ^ [ www.ezramaas.com/work ]
  81. ^ [ Bryan Talbot, ‘The Father of the British Graphic novel’: [14]
  82. ^ Talbot on Maas: [15]
  83. ^ [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_2QHVyAvsM&t=12s]
  84. ^ Maas, Helena, Ezra Maas: A Life in Art, Maas Foundation Books, (2009), ISBN 978-04541-001
  85. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp.55.
  86. ^ ‘Reclusive artist Maas weds heiress Huston’: [www.thetimes.co.uk/news/arts/society/archives/maas/huston/wedding]
  87. ^ [www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/archives/arts/maasanxiety/661]
  88. ^ [ www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/archives/arts/maascontroversy/113 ]
  89. ^ [ https://www.scotsman.com/whats-on/arts-and-entertainment/fear-mass-closures-hangs-over-crisis-hit-scottish-cultural-sector-2862924 ]
  90. ^ [ https://www.reddit.com/r/cicada/ ]
  91. ^ [www.foh.com/jfoster]
  92. ^ [ https://bylinetimes.com/2020/01/27/black-cube-employee-working-for-harvey-weinstein-also-targeted-carole-cadwalladr-over-the-cambridge-analytica-scandal/ ]
  93. ^ ‘Children of Maas’ criticised for violence following gallery protest in Portland, Oregon: [www.portlandobserver.com/news/latest/4848595951]
  94. ^ ‘Maas Foundation condemns street violence and graffiti by splinter group’: [www.theindependent.co.uk/news/art/archives/childrenofmaas/violence/4511]
  95. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp.141.
  96. ^ "Regarding extraordinary profit associated with the sale of a certain painting owned by the company and revision of its consolidated operating result forecast" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2013-11-18 / Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  97. ^ [ https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/does-the-universe-exist-if-were-not-looking ]
  98. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp.6.
  99. ^ ‘Maas Foundation cancels historic press conference’: www.thetimes.co.uk/maasconferencecancelled/3321
  100. ^ [www.ezramaas.com/contact]
  101. ^ King, D, The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Art and Photographs in Stalin’s Russia, Canongate, (1997), ISBN 978-0-86241-724-6
  102. ^ Archer, M, Art Since 1960, Thames & Hudson, (1997), pp. 83.
  103. ^ /
  104. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp. 29-35.
  105. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp. 29-35.
  106. ^ [16]
  107. ^ "How the U. of Tulsa Landed Bob Dylan’s ‘Secret Archive’", The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 4, 2016.
  108. ^ "Bernard Arnault: France's 'wolf-in-cashmere' billionaire". France24. 22 January 2020. Retrieved 23 April2020.
  109. ^ Prix LVMH des jeunes créateurs Archived 6 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine Artefact Paris
  110. ^ Wallas, George: [17] / [18]
  111. ^ Professor Brian Ward: [19]
  112. ^ Dr Claire Nally: [20]
  113. ^ Nally on Maas, the ‘Absent Centre’ : [21]
  114. ^ [22]
  115. ^ Wallas, G, [23] / [24]
  116. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp. 29-35.
  117. ^ Webber, J, The Great One: Ezra Maas, Zeitgeist Books (2006), pp.55.
  118. ^ Hausmann, R, Following the Maaster, (2009), pp.39.
  119. ^ Green, C, The Third Hand: Collaboration in Art from Conceptualism to Postmodernism, University of Minnesota Press, (2001), ISBN 978-0816637133: [25]
  120. ^ Atkins, TJ, Critical Maas: A Life in Art, Bloomsbury, (1987), ISBN 978-21298-21-3
  121. ^ Kenner, E, H.W Maas: The Tangier Letters - 1945-1965, Routledge, (1980), ISBN 978-019034-1
  122. ^ [ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/correspondents/willgompertz ]
  123. ^ Dylan’s complex relationship with journalists: [26]
  124. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp.59.
  125. ^ [27]
  126. ^ Wilentz, Sean, Bob Dylan in America, Vintage, (2011) pp.41-44, ISBN 978-0099549291
  127. ^ James, Daniel, ‘Ezra Maas’, pp.98.
  128. ^  Wells, Jeff (15 August 2011). "Guerrilla artists at war over style accusations". Western Daily Press. p. 3.
  129. ^ ‘Maas Lives’ in US and European Cities:
  130. ^ [ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2014/09/25/absolutely-everything-you-need-to-know-to-understand-4chan-the-internets-own-bogeyman/ ]
  131. ^ [ https://www.reddit.com/r/cicada/ ]
  132. ^ Dr Kosher Cavell: [28]
  133. ^ There have been numerous comparisons to David King’s work on Stalin’s Russia. See: King, D, The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Art and Photographs in Stalin’s Russia, Canongate, (1997), ISBN 978-0-86241-724-6
  134. ^ [www.ezramaas.com/news]
  135. ^ Maas, Helena, Ezra Maas: A Life in Art, Maas Foundation Books, (2009), ISBN 978-04541-001
  136. ^ [ https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/15228922.writers-first-novel-art-world-mystery/]
  137. ^ Maas, Helena, Ezra Maas: A Life in Art, Maas Foundation Books, (2009), ISBN 978-04541-001
  138. ^ ‘Official Maas biography removed from circulation amid controversy’:
  139. ^ See the forthcoming collection: Nothing Is More Real Than Nothing, (2021).
  140. ^ ‘Death in absentia, or presumption of death, is a legal declaration that a person is deceased in the absence of remains attributable to that person… The seven years rule will only apply in the High Court of Justice on the settlement of an estate. Without a body an inquest relies mostly on evidence provided by the police and whether the senior officers believe the missing person is dead.’ – gov.inquest.org.uk/information/sevenyearrule
  141. ^ [ https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2019/aug/06/not-the-booker-prize-2019-the-first-three-books-on-our-shortlist-are-]
  142. ^ [ www.ezramaas.com/news]
  143. ^ [29] / [30]