The Prodigy’s Maxim reveals his inner-artist in his first ever exhibition, immersing viewers in a sensory experience of sight, sound and scent, revealing the hidden side of butterfly’s wings through hauntingly dark yet intriguing pieces of art. Having turned his focus to painting in 2002, he decided to start creating his own artwork instead of buying paintings from other artists, claiming he can “feel a sense of freedom when I paint. There are no restrictions and you can let your imagination run wild…”
Maxim, under the alias MM, will present his first ever visual arts exhibition LepidopTerror, this September at the renowned I.N.C. Space, Covent Garden. The exhibition will run from 15-26th September, and will show his large scale paintings as part of a sensory, immersive experience.
LepidopTerror, a new series of paintings by MM, will see the butterfly motif assume a unique and evocative significance. Butterflies have already been incorporated into the work of some of the most celebrated artists of all time, including Salvador Dali and Damien Hirst. MM, however, takes their traditional symbol of life/death and throws a more sinister idea onto his canvases, deceiving the viewer with a picture of these delicate beauties which, on closer inspection, seem almost threatening.
Curated in a ‘room within a room’, the exhibition incorporates 12-15 large-scale paintings, many of which are from his butterfly series. The room itself engages the viewer subliminally through sight, sound and smell, drawing upon the subtle elements of darkness and low frequency sound which will be felt but not heard. It’s all a mysterious ‘cocoon-like’ experience that transforms the simple ‘looking at paintings in a gallery’ into an immersive and holistic experience. Could this be a pioneering move in the way in which we look at paintings?
- Beautiful Revolution
Using art as a means to relax between touring periods, he met with fellow artists, in the UK and New York, who continued to inspire his creativity. He began to develop his unique style, incorporating a wide range of materials, from glue and paper to ink and even tar – anything that he felt suitable to create the image in his mind on a canvas:
“If a painting isn’t working and I’m not 100% happy with the outcome – if I feel I haven’t injected any soul into it – what I do is burn it and set it free. To me, it is like putting a wounded animal out of its misery.”
It was in fact artist Stuart Semple who was instrumental in putting on his first exhibition, who was captivated by his paintings since he first saw them, and believes Maxim is a “fascinating painter”:
“He’s got an amazing ability to take the dark spots that have probably been in all of our psyches since childhood, and through his mastery of materials, has managed to encase them in something paradoxically gorgeous.”
- Heavy Heaven
MM will be producing two limited edition prints of his work, each with runs of 50, and will donate a percentage of all print sales to Médecins Sans.
But it doesn’t stop there. As he continues to explore different avenues for his creativity, MM drew on his “fascination with ceramics” and has created a limited range of ceramics which unite contemporary art with traditional English craft. These will also be on sale to coincide with the exhibition, each of which encapsulate the unique and evocative significance of the butterfly motif.
- Putulanus Cup
The extraordinary range of objects on sale includes cups & saucers, cake plates and a dramatic 13” platter, each featuring a range of exotic and highly unusual butterflies. Each piece is a highly distinctive representation of MM’s unique creativity.
The range is limited to 500 pieces, with each pattern varying worldwide. Pieces are available to purchase in a small number of authorised retailers including SHOP at the newly re-launched Savoy Hotel in London, and Michael C Fina in New York, as well as online at www.culturelabel.com and www.thenewenglish.co.uk
- Maximus Platter
“Lepidoptera represents a unique mixture of art, design and functional object…. It is absolutely current in its look and feel, yet has a timeless quality which will mean that these pieces will stand as a testament to both Maxim’s designs and the craftsmanship we at The New English pride ourselves upon.”
-Paul Bishop, co-founder of The New English
Dates: 15th – 26th September 2011 (Private View: 14th September)
Address: I.N.C. Space, 9-13 Grape St, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 8ED
Transport: Covent Garden, Tottenham Court Road and Holborn Tube Stations
Exhibition Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 11am – 7pm; Sat – Sun: 9am – 6pm
All pictures courtesy of MM Gallery; © MM Art.