Maxim: Infinite Drama Athens 16th of September – 4th of November 2023 THE BLENDER GALLERY Zisimopoulou 4, Glyfada 16674
The Blender Gallery and Varvara Rozza Galleries are proud to present ‘Infinite Drama Athens’, a solo show by prolific musician and artist Maxim. The exhibition duration is from the 16th of September till the 4th of November 2023, whilst the much-anticipated opening will take place on Saturday the 16th of September at 20.00, at The Blender Gallery (Zisimopoulou 4, Glyfada). A live anti-violence art performance, inspired by the sculptural piece ‘Balaclava Ballerina’ will take place at 21.00.
Fresh from his Athens appearance with award-winning band The Prodigy (June 2023) the artist and musician will exhibit paintings and sculptures at The Blender Gallery in autumn 2023. This series of retrospective work was presented at Miart Gallery in London in 2022. Maxim is known for his haunting, mixed media artworks that explore the darker corners of human nature, yet celebrating love and reflecting the artist’s appreciation of freedom.
The exhibition is titled ‘Infinite Drama Athens’, an appropriate description for the dramatic, powerful artworks, which draw on elements of the human psyche and dramatic world events such as troubling social issues, police brutality and war. Maxim’s artworks all possess an element of drama combined with a hint of Pop Art – which is fitting for a member of a game-changing rock band who emerged on the dance music scene in the 1990s before becoming part of popular culture – who is known for his high-energy performances and explosive stage presence.
The performing side of Maxim’s creativity has translated into his work, as a multidisciplinary artist whose musical product sometimes informs, yet is entirely separate from, his visual. Maxim’s artwork reflects the fantasy world we all like to be a part of, which we see as escapism from the real world and is more playful. This ethos of promoting love and equality is also reflected in some of Maxim’s other artwork, which carries a strong sense of the toxic injustice that continues to permeate society.
The butterfly is a recurring motif in Maxim’s artistic oeuvre, and becomes a symbol of strength, uniting nature and the inner workings of the human mind, with a series of exquisite paintings inspired by the Rorschach Test. Central to the exhibition are Maxim’s Afrofuturist sculptures inspired by ancient African masks, painted in bright colours with high-gloss reflective paint to lend them a futuristic edge.
The elongated, oval faces of Maxim’s sculptures bring to mind Modigliani’s early 20th Century portraits inspired by primitivist art mixed with cubism, or Picasso’s iconic ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ (1907), which both appropriated ancient African art and sculpture for Western art. However, Maxim’s sculptures ‘Green Future X’, ‘Silver Future X’ and ‘Black Future X’, are actually associated with the Afrofuturist philosophy of a cultural aesthetic fusing science-fiction, history and fantasy in order to explore the African experience and connect those from the black diaspora with their forgotten African ancestry.
A strong ethos of promoting love and equality is also reflected in some of Maxim’s other artwork, which carries a strong sense of the toxic injustice that continues to permeate society. For example, many of his works include the ‘$’ symbol, which is pointing out the good and bad side of money. Maxim finds the phrase ‘Money is the Root of all Evil’ quite ridiculous – “It depends on how you use it. Of course, greed and selfishness can cause corruption and destruction. But so many good things can come from having money. People can be fed, clothed and opportunities created for the less fortunate.”
Live Perfomance and the iconic ‘Balaclava Ballerina’.
‘Infinite Drama Athens’ will feature ‘Balaclava Ballerina’, a collection of mixed media painting and sculptures, which Maxim describes as “a Super-Heroine in a Balaclava that carries two guns that spray rose petals over negative people which spreads positive vibes and love”. Maxim was moved to create the image after seeing a photograph in the media during the riots following the murder by a US policeman of George Floyd.
He saw a female facing a group of police in riot gear and she looked so innocent and was no threat compared to the strength of the 30-40 riot police with shields and weapons that she was up against. The anti-police brutality riots in the US sowed the seed for Maxim’s sculpture ‘Balaclava Ballerina’ which is consequently the inspiration for a live performance that will take place at the opening at 21.00.
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