Lepidoptera is an order of insects that includes butterflies. For the “Lepidopterror Collection” from contemporary British artist MAXIM, also known as MM (Double M), beautiful butterflies are mixed with skulls and deadly weapons that will be released as an NFT curated collection via Crypto.com/NFT in collaboration with innovative NFT platform Snowcrash on Wednesday, July 27.
Well known for his outstanding paintings, sculptures and ceramics, Maxim often uses a mixture of sinister and beautiful images. This collection features 888 still images of four categories of butterflies, in varianting quantities. There are 50 Royal Butterflies, 50 Warrior Butterflies, and 50 Worker Butterflies. The remaining 738 butterflies are Citizens. They all belong to the eldest family of butterflies, the Lepidopterrors, and have their role to play in defending the magical Golden Pollen from the Clown Wasps.
Maxim’s musical background in The Prodigy (the pioneering electronic music group that has smashed genre perceptions for more than two decades) has helped feed his wider art practice. It is witnessed in pieces that are always based in a surreal world, inspired by special effects creator Ray Harryhausen and artists H.R. Giger, MC Escher and Hieronymus Bosch. At the heart of his approach is a love and appreciation of freedom. “The one thing I’ve learned about art is there aren’t really mistakes in art, are there?” he shares.
These butterflies were first conceptualized by Maxim in 2009 after he recalled a childhood memory of an advertisement that showed a young girl running through a cornfield, waving a net as she tried to catch an elegant butterfly. He thought to himself, “What would it be like if I armed that butterfly?” The butterfly is seen as a frail and gentle creature. He wanted to give it the ability and strength to defend itself.
That is how the butterfly rebellion was born. Maxim took this inspiration and produced a collection of artworks entitled “Lepidopterror.” In collaboration with Snowcrash and Crypto.com/NFT, he is taking these pieces into the metaverse and creating NFTs, which he sees as a natural progression for this collection.
A long time ago, a child from one of the eldest butterfly families, the Lepidopterrors, found a source of magical Golden Pollen. The child consumed some of the pollen and, in an instant, all of his worries and ailments vanished into thin air. Realizing the healing powers of the pollen, the child told this to his family, the leaders of the Lepidopterrors, the Royals. They decided that the Golden Pollen had to be protected from their enemies, the Clown Wasps, to ensure that enough of the pollen was always available to heal the sick.
As a result, some of the Lepidopterrors were trained to become Warrior Butterflies, to protect the Royals and their Workers and Citizens from the vicious Clown Wasps. The Warriors are highly respected, but that doesn’t mean the Workers and Citizens have less important roles to play. The Worker Butterflies actually collect the Golden Pollen and bring it to the center of their home where it’s safest.
The Citizens are the largest portion of the Lepidopterror community. They are either too old to work and fight or they are too young to choose a path as a worker or warrior. They help take care of the larvae and caterpillars as they become ready to enter their chrysalises to transform into butterflies. The butterflies all display a side of strength regardless of their circumstance.