Maximilian Wiedemann - Inspiring humanity
An exciting new direction beckons for international artist Maximilian Wiedemann and British fashion brand Collier Bristow. We interview the mindful creative who is inspired to find the best in humanity.
Forget Love Buy Me Diamonds
Wiedemann’s artworks feature just as much visual and graphic punch as the sharp, witty slogans he often integrates into his works. Now, Wiedemann has teamed up with the contemporary international fashion label Collier Bristow, based in London, known for infusing effortless class into its collections through daring prints, bold colours and luxury fabrics. Often launching limited editions, Collier Bristow is both a lifestyle and a brand experience. The fashion line has met its match in Wiedemann and the result is a brand new collection of art-meets-apparel t-shirts with a distinctly street art touch.
A t-shirt from the Collier Bristow collaboration
How was your creative collaboration and upcoming collection with Collier Bristow born?
I met with Collier Bristow and felt we immediately had a mutual understanding. The brand needed a different kind of collaboration, and so did I. I wanted to combine irony with art culture, so we created a t-shirt line that is both decorative and transmits a strong message. The apparel will have that little touch or hint of challenge. This line, with its roots in urban arts and graffiti, will be both edgy and impactful, something quite different, actually.
When will the line be available?
The first collection will come out in February, and will only be available at Collier Bristow in London. Afterwards, other models will roll out under the Wiedemann brand, available for purchase worldwide.
Your work raises questions about society, materialism and superficiality. How do you tie together these artistic, graphic and linguistic concepts?
I focus first on good values and my desire to create awareness. I believe that what we will all need in the next few years is interaction between those who need help and those who have power. My art exposes money and status versus decency and integrity: it promotes humanitarianism. The banking system, for example, which I exposed in some of my past works, embraces sheer manipulation, a kind of scam. In my work, there is an ambivalence between love and money, nature and opulence. For example, the recycling of ancient oil paintings is a great new way to depict old traditions and the way of life of our modern and fast living society.
Max at work in his studio
Does the world today scare you?
I am not scared. I feel empowered as an artist. Communicating is an artist’s key job. Artists document the zeitgeist. The next few years will be fierce, considering the uncertainties ahead. I feel that there has to be a rebalance between money, power and sensitivity for the less fortunate. I feel grateful that I have the opportunity to be an artist, giving me a tool to create awareness.
Money Talks But Has Nothing To Say
I will focus a lot on sculptures: LED and neon works. The sculptures will be sort of like window-front display boxes for emergencies, saying “please break the glass”. These emergency boxes showcase ironic everyday items with a twist and a message.
You say that your art is communication. Do you think other artists also try to create awareness?
There are a lot of artists who create awareness. But in my domain, I am known for wit, sharp humour and challenge. I think I’ve found the balance between being funny and inspiring, and also creating a mindfulness behind this.
Would you say you have a mindful lifestyle?
Yes, I am mindful every day in everything I do. It is daily life that inspires me, such as situations with family, friends, shopkeepers, clients. I am inspired daily by interactions with those close to me, being responsible for my environment every day.
Are there any closing thoughts you wish to share with us?
I am grateful to be an artist. It’s a beautiful time to be one. Our world is facing interesting but difficult times. I don’t want our next generation to grow up in fear and instability, but rather with the right values, and to have a stable and inspiring future. Offer empathy, compassion and kindness to others. Money talks, but has nothing to say.