Maxim:The Prodigy the art world
Art was originally a means of winding down between tours with chart-topping band, The Prodigy, but 18 years later, Maxim has cemented his reputation not just as frontman for one of one of the most successful dance acts of all time, but as an acclaimed, mixed media artist whose paintings, prints and sculptures are highly sought after.
Whether it’s music or art, everything the star creates has a dark and powerful edge, boldly mixing genres to create something totally unique and impossible to ignore.
Grenades carried on the breeze by a raft of red balloons; clown-faced butterflies brandishing Samurai swords, and gun- toting cats are just a few of the surreal fantasy worlds created by Maxim, using everything from spray paint, resin, acrylic, ceramics and bronze to objects like bullets, blades and pills.
He says: “I don’t like to limit myself when it comes to materials.
“I have a studio full of things I’ve bought or found and everything’s fair game when I start a piece.”
Recent creations saw Maxim use thousands of pills to bring texture to his art, as well as embedding razor blades into his canvas and he has more than 300 hypodermic needles ready to deploy in a future piece.
The British artist has enjoyed successful exhibitions everywhere from London to LA, and in true Maxim style, the shows are never passive, but are instead multi-sensory experiences, immersing the viewer in his world using fragrances pumped into the space, lighting by the Prodigy’s lighting designers or low frequency sound, which can only be felt.
The themes running through his work are freedom, strength and love. And his art is both an extension of and escape from his career as one of the world’s most recognisable MCs.
He explains: “I used to see music and art as completely separate, but I can see now that they’re connected.
"They’re different ways of expressing myself and what I don’t get from one, I can get from the other.
"But when I create art, I don’t listen to music. I enjoy the stillness and quiet around me. It allows me to create and let whatever flows, come naturally.”
Since his creativity can’t be contained by genres or mediums and he’s passionate about design, Maxim is now venturing into exciting brand collaborations.
He has previously designed a luxury jewellery range featuring Spartan armour and his trademark symbols, like grenades, as well as a Fine Bone China collection adorned with his skull- faced butterfly motifs, for achingly cool ceramic brand, The New English.
“I describe myself as a ‘creative person’” he says. “It’s easy to say ‘artist,’ or ‘musician,’ but I’m somebody who never sits still and never wants to be doing the same thing over and over again - I don’t like to limit my creativity.
“I’m venturing into soft furnishings, interiors, brand collaborations. I just love design.”
Fans of The Prodigy will already have seen Maxim’s creations, though few will have realised at the time.
“Before we’d go on these huge stadium tours with the band, I’d be at home, sitting at the sewing machine, making my own stage outfits. It’s just something I’ve always enjoyed - having a vision and seeing it through to completion.”
Maxim’s pieces have sold to collectors for prices in excess of £20,000 and are held in public and private collections around the world.