I wish to be one of the first to congratulate Nick Reeves on the inclusion of his piece, ‘A Surprising Success: The Maas Ice-Cream Empire 1935-76’ in the anthology Nothing Is More Real Than Nothing, published by Valley Press today.
By way of an introduction to the text, Nick writes:
I first became aware of the reclusive artist, Ezra Maas, several years ago through the writings of his biographer, Daniel James. Maas’ enigmatic influence on the origins of celebrity culture and counterculture can be found hidden among the stories and histories of such luminaries as de Kooning, Crowley, Sontag, Manson, Dylan, Bowie, Warhol. Scratch beneath the surface of any number of influential artists’ histories and mention of him will be threaded there.
The mysterious Maas Foundation has, over the years, created and dispelled so many Maas myths that it has become something of an artwork itself. Traces of his early life are rare, often threadbare, so it was a delightful surprise when an unpublished document relating to the successes of a branch of the Maas family came into my possession in 2018. It is included here among other Maas findings from the likes of Dr. Daniel Barnes, PM Buchan, Marc Nash, Dr. Helen Gorrill, Professor Michael Jeffries and others.
I was one of the first to read the enigmatically entertaining ‘unpublished document’ referred to above, and look forward to diving into the anthology as a whole. It promises to be a mind-bending and thoroughly engrossing read, both for those familiar with The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas, and those new to the corpus…