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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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

First Look, LFW Day 4: Issa AW14

FAULT‘s fashion team hit the catwalk shows and backstage at London Fashion Week (Feb ’14) to bring you our favourite pieces from the Autumn / Winter 2014 shows. Stay connected – on TwitterFacebook or right here on FAULT Online – for our round-up of the designers and trends that we have our eye on.

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Photography: Miles Holder  for FAULT Magazine
@MilesHolder

 

All Images are subject to  copyright

 

First Look, LFW Day 2: Palmer // Harding AW14

FAULT‘s fashion team hit the catwalk shows and backstage at London Fashion Week (Feb ’14) to bring you our favourite pieces from the Autumn / Winter 2014 shows. Stay connected – on TwitterFacebook or right here on FAULT Online – for our round-up of the designers and trends that we have our eye on.

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Photography: Jean-Luc Brouard for FAULT Magazine
@jeanlucbrouard

All Images are subject to  copyright

LFW Feb ’14: Day 2 – John Rocha AW14

FAULT‘s fashion team hit the catwalk shows and backstage at London Fashion Week (Feb ’14) to bring you our favourite pieces from the Autumn / Winter 2014 shows. Stay connected – on Twitter, Facebook or right here on FAULT Online – for our round-up of the designers and trends that we have our eye on.

John Rocha AW14:

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John Rocha’s Autumn/Winter ’14 show kicked off with a rock soundtrack and dramatic outfits but it stayed true to the romanticism that we all expect from the veteran London Fashion Week designer.

Ginormous ruffle collars, tiered dresses and multi-layer skirts were made for fun and frolicking and there were no prizes for spotting that flowers were the central inspiration point. Petal-like headpieces cocooned the models and A-line cocktail dresses were dotted with individual flower heads. It was toughened up with a strong black, rose red and bottle green colour palette for the darker months and rough textures were created with netting, lace and crochet. Unfinished seems hinted towards an arts and crafts aesthetic too.

The frills and flounce were intertwined with currently popular styles such as loose-fitting palazzo pants and oversized coats for a collection that was, overall, a steady but beautiful transition into the new season.

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Words by Olivia Pinnock – @OliviaPinnock

LFW Feb ’14: Day 1 – Daks AW14

FAULT‘s fashion team hit the catwalk shows and backstage at London Fashion Week (Feb ’14) to bring you our favourite pieces from the Autumn / Winter 2014 shows. Stay connected – on TwitterFacebook or right here on FAULT Online – for our round-up of the designers and trends that we have our eye on.

 

Daks AW 14:

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Photography: Miles Holder  for FAULT Magazine
@MilesHolder

All Images are subject to copyright

NYFW AW14 Roundup – Part 3 (Prabal Gurang, Rag & Bone & more)

With NYFW in full swing, we’ve edited and rounded up FAULT‘s fashion shows of note from the NYFW Fall/Winter (or AW ’14 to us) ’14 collections. Pay attention as we give you the lowdown:

Prabal Gurang:

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As one of the most standout collections of NFW this season, Prabal Gurang’s inspiration drew deeply on the visual elements of his homeland, Nepal. The models walked zen-like past huge gongs with flushed ‘straight from the himalayan mountains’ cheeks and deep centre partings inspired by the local Nepalese women. Featuring beautiful draping, complex layering, twisted seams and ‘wrapped’ fabric details in rich hues of red and orange in the same shades of Tibetan monk robes, the collection was full of meaning and depth. Some black, grey and unexpected prints were thrown into the mix also, to create a striking  multi-faceted set of looks. Although Gurang is usually known for his statement dresses, it was actually the knits that got us the most excited, I wonder if the monks realise what trendsetters they are? We can’t wait to see what he creates next.

 

Rag & Bone:

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It’s always exciting to see the Rag & Bone show and to see what they’ve been motivated by season by season. This time there was a ‘back to basics’ feel, which translated itself in rough textures, plaid, silky shell-suit style tops, pinstripe, paint splatters and texturized rough-looking fabric. This was a uniform of sorts, but not all that easily defined, more a contrasting selection of various ‘working’ uniforms that needed further investigation to be understood. It was an intriguing display using subdued ‘muddy’ colours, greys, navy, khaki, grey, black and brown off-shot with vivid orange, that to me, references a fast food restaurant. I’m not sure if I’ll be rushing to the shops to buy this for myself, but as with all collections that throw you a little off-balance, they usually end up being a big commercial hit. It really feels that this season, there are designers striving to ‘keep it more real’ or at the very least to be inspired by real life, gritty scenarios.

 

Suno:

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This was an unexpected hit for us, but Suno’s AW14 collection left us wanting more. Emerging as a truly inspiring brand, this latest collection was inspired by some found photographs of a Roma gypsy camp just outside of Bucharest. We see the Soma girl transform from the early 90’s through to 2006 in a selection of outfits that echo the passing of that time. From raw and undone styles to looks featuring rich embroidery, metallics and clashing pattern, with some loose referencing to tailoring. The collection managed to remain pulled together with the strong boots featuring a strip of metal. A clever idea to to keep each look consistent and to anchor the mix of looks firmly in the present.

 

Thakoon:

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Just when we thought we had AW sussed out, Thakoon threw this eclectic collection into the mix. Bright florals, unusual layering, shrunken poncho’s, then layers of knitwear plus capes mixed in with tailoring. This colourful collection commanded attention with it’s vivid colour palette and experimental layering. Favorite pieces were a slouchy nude-toned suit, a clashy floral bomber jacket and the blue polka dot suit worn beneath a coat-length bomber jacket. Genius.

Keep updated here for more of our NYFW Fall collection updates from the Editors at FAULT Magazine.

Stay updated during LFW via twitter @FAULT Magazine @RachelvHolland

READ THE REST OF OUR ROUNDUPS FROM NYFW:

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Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

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NYFW Feb ’14: DAY 3 – ADEAM AW 14

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Photographer: Audrey Melton
www.audmelt.com

NYFW Feb ’14: Day 1 – MARISSA WEBB AW14

 

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All images by Luis Ruiz