Maximilian is known for his cheeky take on fame, money, vanity and the idol like worship of celebrity status in Hollywood or, in his own words, “It’s about pills, and beauty, and vanity, and women taking blades to their faces”. Tyler Shields is a celebrity photographer whose most recent work features portraits of the ubiquitous Lindsey Lohan with vampire fangs and a blood thirsty look in her eyes (perhaps she was upset the paparazzi were nowhere to be found documenting her misadventures of the day?). Together, their collaboration is a post-pop-culture-modernist clash of Warhol-esque paintings, neon sculptures, graffiti tagged magazine covers and a coffin filled with pills, condoms, and cigarette butts.
Welcome to Hollywood, or rather, the public perception of “Hollywood” that only exists in throw away tabloids, glossy magazines and your daily dose of scandal ridden TMZ “celebrity” television. Can I just stop for a minute and say that I miss the gritty realism of what Hollywood was back in the day when I was a teenager? Sneaking into dark and dingy clubs in the back alleys of junkie infested streets where at any given moment you could either be mugged by a crack smoking hooker or dancing next to Madonna. Bottle Service was avoiding being smacked in the head by a flying beer bottle not being charged a couple grand for a generic bottle of Vodka!
Back to the show….the adventures continued for your fearless reporter dear readers, for while dutifully taking photos of the coffin filled with pills and thrills, I had unknowingly stepped into very sticky, not quite dry RESIN that was used to attach the whole art piece together. As I tried to move, my high heel did not- that baby was GLUED DOWN! Coincidentally, above the piece was a bright neon sculpture in the shape of a cross that glowingly declared, “Closer to God in Heels”. Yes, my dear friends, I had crossed the line from observer to observed…from gallery attendant to performance art piece as all eyes watched in amusement as my heel refused to move! Be it by chance, coincidence, or the mystical ways of the universe, I had unwittingly stumbled into a spur of the moment artistic collaboration with a pill filled coffin,a bright neon sign and one high heel that wasn’t going anywhere!
To my rescue came the artist himself, the charming and witty Maximilian who knows an opportunity (and a damsel in distress) when he sees it. With one fell swoop both my heel and I were rescued from the grasps of the evil resin and next thing you know, he is posing with my rebellious ( and now quite sticky) high heel in front of his neon sculpture proclaiming, “Closer to God in Heels” as photographers snapped away at this serendipitous photo opportunity. Now THAT, my dear readers, is what we call a true Hollywood moment!
“Pump Up The Valium”
Selected work by Maximilian Wiedemann in collaboration with Tyler Shields
June 4th-June 26th
The Fabien Castanier Gallery
12196 Ventura Blvd,
Studio City, CA, 91604