Autumn 2011 MM Art: LepidopTerror Hauntingly dark yet intriguing paintings reveal the hidden side of a butterfly’s wings Venue: I.N.C Space, Covent Garden Exhibition Dates: 15th - 26th September 2011 Private View: Wednesday 14th September Exodus © MM Art The Prodigy’s Maxim reveals his painterly side in his first ever exhibition, immersing viewers in a sensory experience of sight, sound and scent Maxim, under the alias MM, will present his first ever visual arts exhibition LepidopTerror, this September at the renowned I.N.C. Space, Covent Garden. The exhibition will run 15-26th September, and will show his large scale paintings as part of a sensory, immersive experience. LepidopTerror, a new series of paintings by MM, will see the butterfly motif assume a unique and evocative significance. Butterflies, traditional symbols of life, death, rebirth and reincarnation, have been incorporated into the work of some of history’s most celebrated artists, from Salvador Dali to Damien Hirst. MM’s butterflies, however, are rather more sinister – while from afar the viewer is struck by stunning hues and conventional winged beauty, on closer inspection the reality is one of armed creatures, with thoughts and actions uncertain and threatening. MM’s debut show at I.N.C. Space will incorporate between twelve and fifteen large-scale paintings – including many of his butterfly series. The exhibition, curated in a ‘room within a room’ will engage the viewer subliminally, through sight, sound and smell. Juxtaposed by the clinical brightness of the external space, this enclosing ‘cocoon’ will draw upon subtle such elements as darkness, warmth, and low frequency sound, which will be felt but not heard. Inducing this mysterious ambience, MM transforms a passive ‘viewing’ into a holistic and immersive experience. “The dark fantasy landscape of fairy tales and ghostly wars is where Maxim’s artworks live.” Art critic Francesca Gavin commented. But, as she continued: “Horror in art reflects our awareness of the increasing details of the violence around the world. The depiction of our fears on canvases, such as Maxim’s, can be an attractive and almost comforting resolution to that unease.” Elysium © MM Art Freedom © MM Art Heavy Heaven © MM Art Recognised for his musical success as a member of the band The Prodigy, Maxim turned his focus to painting in 2002 when he needed some decorative art for the walls in his new home. Instead of buying paintings, he decided to create the work himself. “I feel a sense of freedom when I paint. There are no restrictions and you can let your imagination run wild… I now see everything under one umbrella: music, art, fashion…they are all about creativity.” MM The Last Voyeur © MM Art Untitled © MM Art Protection 3 © MM Art Finding painting an addictively absorbing process, MM used it as a means to relax between touring periods. Over time, he met with fellow artists, in the UK and New York, who further inspired his creativity. Realising that art wasn't just about a canvas and paintbrush, he began to develop his unique style. MM’s paintings incorporate a wide variety of media, from glue and paper to ink and even tar. “If a painting isn’t working and I’m not 100% happy with the outcome – if I feel I haven’t injected any soul into it – what I do is burn it and set it free. To me, it is like putting a wounded animal out of its misery.” MM It was artist Stuart Semple, a friend of Maxim’s, who eventually convinced him to put on his first exhibition. “I've been totally captivated by Maxim's paintings since I first saw them and feel incredibly privileged to have been able to watch the works develop. He's got an amazing ability to take the dark spots that have probably been in all of our psyches since childhood, and through his mastery of materials, has managed to encase them in something paradoxically gorgeous. He's a fascinating painter.” Stuart Semple Exhibition Details Editor’s Notes MM Art Maxim from The Prodigy uses the moniker MM, for his visual artwork, and has been developing as a painter and mixed media artist for several years, gaining insight and experience from artists in the US and the UK. LepidopTerror at the I.N.C. Space will be his debut exhibition. I.N.C. Space I.N.C Space is a new private members facility based in the heart of Covent Garden. Born from the creative industries, the I.N.C Space ethos is to offer something more to its members and clients than just a space for hire. The perfectly situated site at Grape Street offers the unique aspect of being central yet tucked away. I.N.C. Space was chosen for the MM exhibition because of its futurist design layout, which means the space is conducive to creativity, wellness and relaxation. The visually stunning five-storey building will provide a contrast to the cocooned room MM will build within it.