Prodigy vocalist/MC and frontman Maxim, who in addition to being a chart-topping musician is an acclaimed mixed-media artist who has launched an incredible new series called “Hope,” a hybrid of sculpture, music, and film, which is available to view and experience online (on his website) in addition to being on display at London’s new 99 Projects gallery.
The series is a powerful and poignant collaboration with artist Dan Pearce, born out of the pandemic entitled “Hope.” The series features 50 limited edition sculptures assorted, hand-painted colors with ten special editions, which will have Swarovski Crystals added by Dan and Maxim. The two artists spent over a year in lockdown creating this ambitious, multi-platform collaboration, which is inspired by the “Hope” that everybody is clinging onto, as we gradually ease out of the devastation wreaked by Coronavirus.
The sculpture is based on Pearce’s son – wearing a gas mask and preparing to pull the pin on a clear, resin grenade, containing a heart, which represents the vaccine and the hope that will help us navigate our post-lockdown worlds. The grenade is a recurring symbol and theme in Maxim’s art, which includes highly sought-after paintings, prints, and sculptures created during his 18 years in the art world. The pieces demonstrate Dan’s skills in 3D modeling and Maxim’s experience floating objects in resin.
He also has an accompanying NFT drop, a collaboration with WSL aka Eugene Riecansky (Pixar, Red Bull, The Prodigy, NIN, HIM, Madonna), that launched last week Friday that you can view HERE
Tell us about the genesis of “Hope.”
It kind of started, obviously, with Danny and Dan piers. And, you know, we met each other through exhibitions, friends exhibitions, and I went to a dance exhibition, and got chatting to him. And then he came over to my house, you know, we just socialized and came over to my house. And that’s kind of where it began.
And really German, he kind of suggested an ideal doing the sculpture. We’ll do a sculpture, not that specific sculpture, but collaborating together and doing a sculpture. And I said, Yeah, let’s do it. And that’s kind of how the start of it you know, that was a starting process, we and then left it for a couple of months. And he hit me with a few ideas and after that was just back and forth. Just developing the idea.
So yeah, you know, it was a totally organic process. And you know, it developed over time over the pandemic just developed into what it was, you know what I mean. How it turned out was totally unexpected. We didn’t think it was going to turn out the way it did. But yeah, that’s how it sort of developed.
How would you describe the highs and lows of being an artist and who are your all time musical icons?
Okay. The highs and lows of being an artist, I suppose it’s the same thing music as it is in doing art, you know, being an artist as far as painting or creating sculptures or anything like that. The highest is actually when you feel when you feel like you’ve achieved something, you know, you’ve you’ve you’ve created something that you’re 100% happy women, you know, for me is when I create something, and I go back the next day and the excitement of going back the next day and seeing what I created what I fought I created when I was in that zone of dizziness, and that night before of overworking. And then coming back in the morning to see was that thing that I really created that good.
And coming back and seeing surprise there it was Angela? So that’s the highs, you know, the lows, you know, there’s lows and obviously you can’t have the highs without the lows. So there are lows in writing music and creating art, you know, when you think things are going well. And they take a turn and it doesn’t, you know, the creativity level drops and then it doesn’t turn out how you expect it. So you know, if you know, I will see art as an artist, it’s always like 70% highs 30% lows, but you have to have the lows to have the highs. As far as inspiration.
I don’t really have that many people I look up to musically, you know, I listen to loads of different music from from soul old soul to r&b, you know, Stevie Wonder to Aretha Franklin, to rage against machine to the specials. So various, you know, but one of the people I suppose when I was like 17, I grew up listening to the specials. And then for me, they kind of formulated my foundation because I always believed that the bands you listen to when you’re 13 and 14, always have an impact on your life. And you carry that style later on in life. So I kind of grew up listen to the specials, and that kind of that kind of that gang mentality, that kind of the way they dress and you know, that kind of camaraderie, you know, with other fellows into the same kind of income as some kind of music you know, that kind of continuous In my life, I always look back at the specials, and listen to that and listen to that style and the swagger they’ve got.
And I kind of can’t continue that in my life. Then I grew up in a wet food Public Enemy. And one of the most amazing things was I saw Public Enemy when they came to the UK, I think it was 98. And they taught in the UK. And I saw them and I was at the front of the stage, and they blew my mind. And one of the amazing things was that they supported or supported us on one of our tours, when we played in the UK, UK on the European tour, and Public Enemies supported us.
So it was kind of like, it kind of came around full circle, one minute, I’m watching them on stage. Next minute, I’m on stage with them. So that was an amazing, amazing thing. And when I was like 1718, I really looked up to how I really respected Prince, and how he wrote music and his whole performance. And I was fortunate to meet Prince who was touring in America. And I met him in a club in New York. And, yeah, it was really amazing to meet Prince and he gave me a bit of advice. And he just said, make sure you own your own music. So I always remember that.
What are some things you do to keep your inspiration alive?
Keep my inspiration alive. I always like, you know, I’m always on social media, and looking at other artists, you know, see what kind of art styles are out there and what people are creating, as far as our art goes. And you know, if there’s any, you know, obviously not in the last year and a half. But, you know, I do like to get, you know, art exhibitions when there’s art exhibitions when they get invited or to galleries and, and, you know, sometimes I just look on, on the internet and just look at artists, new artists, and look at their work. And it ‘s quite inspiring. Just seeing what creativity is out there and what people are creating, you know, and it pushes you on a bit further to create more work.
Who is an artist that you look up to more than others today?
There aren’t really any artists that I look up to, you know, because for me, I just focused on what I’m doing. I don’t really look at artists as such, I mean, I respect artists and what they do. I look at, you know, like when you look at Damien Hirst, and what he does with his creativity and wait thinks I like you know. But I have friends who are great artists, you know, like Robbie, Robbie Walters don’t like his style. So yet his friends, which I have, are great. I don’t really look up to any artists or such, I just like I said, I just focus on what I’m doing, you know, my own style and trying to correct you know, perfect my own style and my own creativity, really.
What are some things you do to deal with anxiety and creative blocks?
creative blocks and anxiety, I just step away from it. If you’re not creating some for me, if I’m not creating something, and it doesn’t work that day, it’s because it wasn’t supposed to work that day. You know, so I just walk away from it and do something else, you know, go out, go for a walk. You know, if art isn’t created that day, it’s the same thing with music.
If it’s not working that day, and it’s not flowing, energy is not flowing. I wasn’t supposed to make music, nor was the person I art that day. So do something else. Read a book, listen to some music, go for a drive, visit a friend, do something different. Go out, go take my dog for a walk or whatever, you know, just totally take my mind off it and think that day It wasn’t an art day. It wasn’t a music day. Maybe tomorrow it was going to be a music art day. And that’s why I look at it German is no point in trying to push something that isn’t happening. Just switch off and just do something else.
Who inspires your style and aesthetics?
it’s quite similar to the previous question, I don’t really have any. As far as, like, say, inspiration can come from anywhere, like inspiration could come from just walking in the garden, you know, I could, I could see you can see a tree blossoming. And, you know, I’ve got an idea where you could see birds, we could, it could be any any thing, it could be a certain lack of brick wall, or the way the bricks look, or the way the lights hit the brick wall.
And it’s just to give me an idea of, or something else, clothing can inspire me. And like saying, once I get the inspiration, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to, if I see a certain wall, like a brick wall, and the way the light hits, hits, and it looks a certain way, it doesn’t mean I’m going to paint a brick wall, it just means it’s give me inspiration to start an idea of something where that idea goes away or ends. Who knows. It could end up in a painting of a tree. And you know, so it’s Yeah, inspiration can come from anywhere it can be looking at a pair of trainers, gentlemen, whichever way I look at them, trainers received translatable, gives me an idea of putting some trainers on policemen or something like that. So yeah, it can come from anywhere.
What is the achievement or moment in your career you are the most proud of and why?
Obviously being in the band, Prodigy, and yeah, just touring, right, and music you know what I mean. But it’s not ended, it still continues, you know? So there’s plenty of things to achieve. There’s plenty more paintings to do, there’s plenty more music to write continual sculptures to make?
What do you think is the best way to make it as an artist nowadays?
To make as an artist, probably just to be original. Be original, and create your own style. You know, focus and style. And you know, that I think really kind of like, just focus on your own style and stick with that.
And don’t get swayed by following other people, you know? Not to be you know, because it’s easy to think of an idea. And then the next minute, you get swayed by someone else doing that. And then you get swayed by someone else doing that and you take them off track. So it’s kind of focusing on things that stick on your path.
10) What would you change in the music, art and entertainment industries especially after this past year?
What would I change? Oh, I dunno if I’d change anything really, I mean. Because I think you know, especially for the last year with the pandemic, I suppose, a lot of people are focusing more on their own music because obviously the entertainment business has all been closed down. As such, you notice nothing happened so I think people are more in the creative space at the moment and more creative.
And so hopefully when things are, you know, when they’re lifted by 2022, or when everything comes out a bit more, I think you’ll see a whole lot more of music. You know, because people have been in that creative, creative hub for the last year and a half. And so 2022 is going to be a flood of music. So I think it’s an inspirational time really, which people have been through. And yeah, I think there’s good things to come. So I wouldn’t I wouldn’t change anything. You know, it is what it is and people just have to make the most of the situation.