Art Will Eat Itself
Max Wiedemann has caught us somewhat off guard, perturbingly so. Meet him, he’s disarmingly charming. And why not? He’s on a roll, with his work already having fronted the poster campaign for VH1’s TV show ‘Divas’ stateside, and then the body herself, Elle McPherson, came calling and his last show sold out. So the question appears to be ‘where next, Maestro?’
A product of an Anglo-German marriage, he grew up in Dusseldorf and first became aware of the world of art while surfing and tagging on the local rail network. Spent his formative years being indoctrinated into the black arts of branding before jumping ship and relocating to his maternal side back here in the UK. And it shows in the aggressive strap lines he likes to illustrate his mock mag covers with. His skill, rather than his strangely, hypnotic female figures who have a habit of bleeding out before the viewer’s gaze, a subconscious rebuke of the photoshop perfection we are force-fed on a daily basis, is the witty barbs that entertain at first sight but tend to slice deeper on reflection, like a paper cuts, into something deeper and, as yet, unbranded.
So a magnum of Brut Imperial becomes Borë & Dom, American Express – American Excess and the Rolex, the honourary badge of time put in for the advancement of capitalism, becomes Relax – the subtext being that in order to own one that’s the last thing you can afford to do. Pithy one word adjustments to commonly held conceptions which successfully ape our unending lust, or as Max succinctly puts it, our desire to be consumed by consumerism.
Max, however, freely admits he’s not fomenting a revolution, is not a revolutionary, drinks Borë & Dom and wears a Relax, pursues to the full the champagne lifestyle that his art so successfully mocks. No, his self-appointed role is to ridicule – them, us, himself, from the safety of within. Whether everyone gets the joke is another matter entirely. As the physical manifestation of female beauty perfected said, ‘I’m a big fan of Max’s work… Max and I share the same ideas in appealing to the masses.’ One would hope with her most salacious tongue wedged firmly into the side of her equally lascivious cheek. But if not, who cares? Not I.
Max Wiedemann’s new show ‘How to Make A Billion’ starts on 22nd October at the GGG Gallery.