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

Mouthful: Tyler Shields solo exhibition in LA

Tyler Shields' Mouthful starts May 20th

Check out Tyler Shields’ solo exhibition Mouthful, open for your delectation from 20th May in Los Angeles from 10am-6pm. A variety of Tyler’s instantly iconic photographs will be on display – including those featuring the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Tamara Eccelstone, Heather Morris, Josh Hutcherson and Francesca Eastwood.

For more on Tyler’s works, read FAULT‘s exclusive interview here:

FAULT: Any plans for a self portrait?

Tyler: Yes! I have done a couple over the years, but I am getting ready to embark on a series of them which should be pretty fun and very dangerous.

FAULT: With shooting so many celebrities, are you ever worried you’ll b viewed as “celeb photographer”as opposed to an artist?

Tyler: Not at all. Some people have only seen the work I do with actors and that’s fine to me the reason I shoot actors is they have the ability to help create what I want its the talent not the fame I am interested in.

More from this interview here…

FAULT Favourite – Artist Tyler Shields

Tyler Shields is a Los Angeles based Artist. Shield’s started his career by directing music videos. Tyler has worked with various forms of media including video portraits, painting and is a published author. Tyler is best known for his photography. FAULT caught up with Tyler to find out more about his innovative imagery, inspirations and upcoming show May 20th at the ACE Gallery in Los Angeles.

Tyler Shields

FAULT: Tyler how are you?

Tyler: I am amazing.

FAULT: Can you tell us about your background, How did you get into

Tyler: I was directing music videos then one day I took a photo and
everyone who saw it loved it.  So I added a photography section to my website
and it started to get all this attention. The funny thing it was only 1 photo
from there people started asking me to shoot them and it was never the same
after that.

FAULT: With most celebrities being very *conscientious *about image, how do manage to get them to go for your concepts?

Tyler: They are artists and they get excited about making art together.  Its all for expression people want to be apart of something, like this its exactly why they started doing what they do and often times they are not given the freedom.

FAULT: Sex, drugs, blood consistent theme throughout your work, what in
particular is about blood is that you are drawn too?

Tyler: Blood is the one common thing we all share doesn’t matter where you are from everyone speaks the language of blood.

FAULT: Any plans for a self portrait?

Tyler: Yes! I have done a couple over the years, but I am getting ready to embark on a series of them which should be pretty fun and very dangerous.

FAULT: With shooting so many celebrities, are you ever worried you’ll be
viewed as “celeb photographer”as opposed to an artist?

Tyler: Not at all some people have only seen the work I do with actors and that’s fine to me the reason I shoot actors is they have the ability to help create what I want its the talent not the fame I am interested in.

FAULT: What’s been the biggest challenge in your career so far?

Tyler:Staying alive! I don¹t use photo-shop. I am out there doing it all Ive been hit by cars, broken ribs and fractured my neck its crazy out there

FAULT: Who would you love to shoot/work with most?

Tyler: Floyd Mayweather, Kiera Knighlty, Nick Cage and Clooney.

FAULT: What’s the Los Angeles Art scene like?

Tyler: I don’t know its not often that I go anywhere other then to shoot, but I do know a lot of people make things here this town is filled with dreamers all trying to create reality.

FAULT: What are you currently working on?

Tyler: My show Mouthful which is may 19th, a TV show which comes out may 20th my second novel Richest Man which is out end of May and The Dirty Side of Glamour which I am not sure of the release date.

FAULT: Can you tell us about your upcoming show MOUTHFUL at ACE Gallery?

Tyler: Mouthful, will have a lot of unreleased work from a lot of people Francesca Eastwood, Emma Roberts and Mischa Barton are the 3 who are in it the most!

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Tyler: Chaos

To see more of Tyler’s work please visit his site – TYLER SHIELDS

Special thanks to Fraser Kee Scott