Better known as a vocalist from chart-topping British electronic dance band The Prodigy, Maxim’s career as a contemporary artist is also blossoming.
His stunning new solo exhibition, Infinite Drama, is being hosted by the Miart Gallery London, a spectacular 500 sqm modern art centre located in the heart of Mayfair and owned by Irem Deniz.
The exhibition opened to a private viewing on Thursday evening. Around 300 guests from a broad spectrum of backgrounds attended, including Lady Victoria Hervey, former footballer Andy Cole, actor Kevin Bishop, and T-VINE culture writer Sonya Karafistan, all curious to see Maxim’s latest artwork.
Infinite Drama presents a mixture of paintings and sculptures themed around the human psyche and dramatic world events, from war to police brutality. Maxim’s powerful body of work has elements of Pop Art, Surrealism, Afrofuturism and abstraction, and is both playful and haunting.
The artist’s experiences in The Prodigy, a high-energy, genre-busting band that helped define the soundtrack of the 1990s, seems to have permeated into his work as a multi-media contemporary artist with his bold take on the world.
His Balaclava Ballerina and Rebel with the Paw works are among those he created following the murder of George Floyd by police in the USA and the anti-police riots that followed. The ballerina sculpture is presented as a ‘super-hero’ spraying people with rose petals, while his sculpture of a feline armed with guns dipped in pink is shooting love instead of bullets.
The butterfly is a recurring motif in Maxim’s artistic oeuvre, and it is again well represented in this solo show, as Maxim surveys nature and the inner workings of the human mind in a series of exquisite paintings: Therapy Green, Therapy Gold,and Therapy Yellow. The paintings are inspired by the Rorschach Test, a process where responses to ink blot drawings are used to indicate a person’s psychological state and personality traits.
Central to the exhibition are Maxim’s Afrofuturist sculptures that are inspired by ancient African masks, each one painted in bright colours with high-gloss reflective paint to lend them a futuristic edge. These works, Green Future X, Silver Future Xand Black Future X, are steeped in a cultural aesthetic that fuses science-fiction, history, and fantasy as they explore the African experience, connecting the black diaspora with their forgotten African ancestry.
The term Afrofuturism is rooted in African American science fiction, such as the writings of Octavia Butler and Samuel R. Delany, and the music of jazz musician Sun Ra, who created a mythical persona that combined Egyptian mysticism with science fiction.
Maxim has been crafting his art these past 20 years, his evolution as a contemporary artist evidenced in the many paintings, multi-media collages, and sculptures he has produced during this time.
His exploration of the visual arts started after a trip to an art fair to look for paintings for his house. Unimpressed with what he saw, he thought he could do just as well, if not better, himself. He began by painting colour washes and abstract pieces, which caught the eye of those visiting his house, resulting in commissions for new art.
“Inspired by Black Lives Matter protests following the brutal murder of George Floyd, Maxim’s debut mixed media exhibition Infinite Drama features armed resin ballerinas and cats and twisted symbolism, with guns as weapons spreading love not destruction, and beautifully crafted spikey butterflies.
“Visually bold, at times disturbing, Maxim’s venture into political pop art is worth a look,” said T-VINE’s Sonya Karafistan after viewing the exhibition.
Infinite Drama runs until Monday 7 October and is free to view. Full details below.
Title: Infinite Drama
Dates: 13 October to 07 November 2022
Gallery Opening Times: Monday–Friday: 10am–6pm, and Saturday: 12:30pm–4.30pm
Venue: Miart Gallery, 31-32 St. James’s Street, London SW1A 1HD
More info: visit the gallery website, www.miartgallery.com
Unless otherwise mentioned, all photos by Halil Yetkinlioglu