Maximilian Wiedemann – ‘Obsession Of Society’ at COYA Mayfair

Maximilian Wiedemann is, by his own admission, a graffiti artist for internal walls. The founder of Imitate Modern Gallery and former advertising strategist has an eye for bold, imposing imagery that strikes a chord with the Instagram generation. Is his work cynical? To some, perhaps, but it’s hard to argue with Wiedemann that even a basic grasp (or even exposure to) advertising gives tremendous insight into how society – in a truly global sense – is being warped and seduced by brand culture and raw materialism.

It’s Wiedemann’s position that art – even while using the same consumer tactics to attracting more attention, likes, shares and purchases – can be the antidote to that simply by forcing people to confront the fact actively, as opposed to being passively complicit.

After interviewing him back in 2016 ahead of his collaboration with Collier Bristow, we had the pleasure of speaking to Max at the launch of his latest London exhibition – ‘Obsession of Society‘ –  at COYA Mayfair about the intersection of contemporary art and advertising, his approach to juggling creativity and consumerism, and his wider thoughts on the artistic community.

 

Maximilian Wiedemann

 

FAULT: How does your background in advertising influence your work? 

Maximilian Wiedemann: Advertising was my education. My idea was to take the false seduction that revolves around advertising and turn it into art. The art of seduction. Advertising gave us the opportunity to find the key to address materialism and address status in Society via brand culture. Drip until you drop. Full stop.

I got into this by coincidence. Philosophy writes. Art draws. It’s up to each one to read the signs. My signs are in the walls. I love life and would like to inspire every one who is working on a canvas right now. Just move the muscle. Eventually dreams are reality. Just keep painting. Just keep going on.

 

Your work draws on a range of sources – inspired by your international upbringing. In a world that seems to be hurtling towards the enforcement of borders and nationalism, what message does your work carry in terms of internationalism and globalisation?

Maximilian Wiedemann: My source is Biggie Smalls.

 

What was your breakthrough moment as an artist?

Maximilian Wiedemann: VH 1 / MTV Divas campaign, 2009. It was the moment when I quit my job, in a bar with my boss. I had a job as new business strategy director in a boutique agency in London . Elle Macpherson had just commissioned me to her campaign and I had to call a status meeting with my boss. He said, “Be good at one thing in you life. New business for branding agencies or art.” I quit. But I choose both. In essence, I am new business. Art-vertising.

Maximilian Wiedemann

 

 

What do you consider ‘beauty’ to be?

Maximilian Wiedemann: Nice one. I would rather marry my soul mate than beauty. Beauty is replaceable. Souls are not…

Wait – what was the question again? I think life is the biggest gift. The ‘wake up in the morning and be able to perform’. To wake up and follow your mission. Heath is key to perform. So watch your ‘Bildzeitung’ and your body.

 

Your work seems very much a comment on commodity culture – how does this square with your own position within the art market?

Maximilian Wiedemann: What you buy to is who you are.

 

How do you see the art world evolving in the next decade?

Maximilian Wiedemann: Money makes the market. The big players evolve. I do think it’s all fucked, as my messages are so relevant. I’m just in this business to have fun and communicate current zeitgeist messages.

 

Your work seems to make much reference to online culture, where images are both widely available and widely spread. How does this generation, and the connectedness of the internet, influence your work?

Maximilian Wiedemann: My art aims to connect irony and sustainability. I have no connection.

 

Maximilian Wiedemann

 

If you had to give advice to young artists, what would it be?

Maximilian Wiedemann: Paint!! Move the muscle!!! It will all evolve. The main key is movement!

 

How would you like to be remembered?

Maximilian Wiedemann: If I am worth it.

 

Do you consider your work cynical or optimistic? 

Maximilian Wiedemann: It’s real. Relevant. It’s just a brutal reflection on how messed up society is right now. I don’t have to explain that. Just look at what works on Instagram.

~

COYA Collective

Enhancing each individual gastronomic experience is the COYA Collective – a schedule of diverse genres of artistic and cultural expressions, setting the rhythm for an unmistakably Latin American ambience. COYA Mayfair honours both traditional and contemporary cultural offerings, ensuring that the heart of Latin American culture is experienced throughout the venue. In addition to the vivacious music scene, COYA Mayfair also showcases a variety of established and upcoming photographers, artists, illustrators, sculptors and immerging talent alike with year-round hosted events. 

 The COYA Collective is a signature movement that defines COYA’s ethos and beliefs. It has pushed against tradition to create a multi-dimensional platform for guests to not only dine but feel the entire experience with all the senses. Combining the elements of vibrant live music, home to a showcase of compelling art and an array of the city’s most colourful festivities, the COYA Collective creates an altruistic, cultural experience uniquely COYA. 

Each COYA property has the opportunity to welcome various artists to adorn the walls of the COYA Members’ Club and in some cases, the restaurant and Pisco Bar & Lounge with each special exhibition lasting 6-8 weeks. The singular relationship that all global COYA properties have with each artist is special. The COYA properties curate and build their own very special collection through the memento pieces left behind by each artist as a gifted symbol. 

~

For more of Max’s work, visit his page on Imitate Modern

To see more of COYA’s exclusive art launches, visit their website

‘40’: A Retrospective of Kate Moss by artist Russell Marshall (from 17th Jan)

On the eve of the fourth decade of iconic model and personality Kate Moss, artist Russell Marshall will reveal his latest body of work in her honour. A connoisseur of celebrities due to his time working as the art director for one of Britain’s top newspapers, the artist is drawn to celebrate those personalities who stand out as ‘legendary’ as opposed to ephemeral upon the crowded media landscape. In this spirit, he has engaged with Moss as a subject to produce canvases depicting the model in her various states of glory, through his preferred medium of screen printing.

Russell Marshall - rock chick, mother, model, love her 2011

Russell Marshall – ‘Rock chick, Mother, Model, Love her’, 2011

FAULT will be present at the unveiling of Marshall’s latest body of work to preview the impact of these interesting ideas of media legend upon viewer and artist alike.

Organized in collaboration with Imitate Modern, one of the eminent galleries of the Marylebone set, and Beautiful Crime, a fresh  and interesting new art brand and promotions company, this exhibition will surely draw a new lease of life from an already fascinating example of British pop culture.

Russell Marshall - 'Westwood Geisha', 1992

Russell Marshall – ‘Westwood Geisha’, 1992

Where: Imitate Modern Gallery, 27a Devonshire Street, London, W1G 6PN
When: 17th Jan-15th Feb (open Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm)

Words by Kat Rutherford

FAULT Issue 10 star Sascha Bailey presents Human Relations with regular contributor Mairi-Luise Tabbakh

Sascha Bailey43

Sascha Bailey shot by Mairi-Luise Tabbakh for FAULT Issue 10

Imitate Modern gallery presents a new photographic exhibition by FAULT issue 10 star Sascha Bailey.

Sascha Bailey 1

Sascha Bailey shot by Mairi-Luise Tabbakh for FAULT Issue 10

Photographs taken by his brother, and promising newcomer on the photographic scene, Fenton Bailey, and regular FAULT contributor Mairi-Luise Tabbakh are featured, showcasing both colour and black and white studies of the female form.  Fenton’s images focus on the face and form of 2 of his previous partners and muses.  He wanted to capture the height of the sensuality in each relationship.  This intense personal element runs through most of his work.  The locations of each of his images, Japan and London, show how an affinity with a place can have an affect on the relationship.

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 18.30.13

 

Mairi’s photographs by comparison are more erotic, exhibiting an even more personal celebration of the female body.  The objectification adds mystery and makes the viewer question the nature of the relationship between the photographer and model.

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 18.31.45

 

Open: 1st-31st May

Private VIP view: 1st May

Human Relations @ Imitate Modern
27a Devonshire Street, London, W1G 6PN

 

For more information, visit http://imitatemodern.com/exhibitions/human-relations-sascha-bailey/

 

Words by Joelle Thurston