Keith Maiden | Materialism


A continuation of Keith Maiden’s quest for transparency in our society, this new collection of original artwork builds upon the subjects established in its forerunner; the hugely impactful If I Were The Devil . Materialism throws an uncomfortable spotlight on humanity, weaving themes of greed, superficiality and consumerism into a body of work that is simultaneously challenging and mesmerising. A veritable feast of symbolism and hidden meanings, these works command time and attention from the viewer to do justice to their message. Maiden has skilfully woven his inimitable word play alongside key themes from neo-classicism, against a backdrop of imagery arguably as

futuristic as it is modern. The overall effect is a collection of striking tableaus, each with its own warning to deliver. Laden with allegorical references, each artwork actively encourages introspection and an acknowledgement of the darker side of human evolution. Peeling back the layers of greed-induced behaviours and traits, Maiden urges us to question why we do what we do, and the potential damage we inflict both on ourselves and others in the process. Such is the visual impact that Materialism delivers, we may conclude that art is an undeniably perfect vessel for parabolic teachings of this nature. Without pretention or preaching, Maiden has harnessed the power of honesty, coupled with keen insight, and used his artistry to depict its key messages in full emblematic glory.

This painting shows a young woman looking up while lost in thought, or perhaps issuing a silent plea, while draped in a Union Jack flag. Her hands are forming the shape of a bird, the shadow above is that of a dove; an international symbol of piece. The flag in parts is held together by wooden pegs, which could be interpreted as representative of the divide evident in today’s political climate. There is also a small label on the flag which says made in China; a nod to the misdirection we see in a lot of industry these days. The title, 'proper gander', is both slang for having a good look at something, and refers to propaganda – or, more recently, the issue of ‘fake news’ that’s been a hot topic lately.

PROPER GANDER Mixed Media On Board Framed 90 x 70cm Framed £5,950

This woman is posed looking downwards, with her arms above her head, holding the scales of justice between her fingers. The composition gives off a sense of restraint and confinement; from the subject’s stance, to the fact that she has been gagged by having a £20 note stuck over her mouth. She too is draped in a Union Jack flag, and both pieces are a continuation of the theme of 'greed', specifically aimed at conglomerates and untouchable institutions.

EQUILIBRIUM Mixed Media On Board Framed 90 x 70cm Framed £5,950

This is a continuation of the thought process that led to my previous piece 'Avarice Egocentric’. The painting is of a naked woman with outstretched arms, rose petals are painted on her head, both wrists and the right side of her torso. She has three sets of keys for luxury cars in her right hand (Bentley, Mercedes and Ferrari) and two chess pieces, a queen and a pawn, in her left hand. There is a slogan behind her saying “I want it all, I want it now”. The inspiration came from an old Italian proverb ‘ Quando finisce la partita il re ed il pedone finiscono nella stessa scatola ’ (meaning ' Af ter the game the queen/

king and pawn go in the same box ') but with a twist. The painting represents the absurdity of relentlessly pursuing obscene wealth and fame, often at the expense of true happiness, if all you are doing is going in a box, and you can't take it with you. Everyone from a king or queen to a commoner will end up in a box when the game is over, in short the game is rigged, and no one gets out alive. Sad, but true nonetheless.

ROSE | Mixed Media On Board | Framed 70cm x 140cm | Framed £8,950

The paintings are in my style but with touches of neo-classicism composition, hidden messages and a modern twist. The subject has a suggestion of ancient Roman headgear and tunic around her waist. She has a modern tattoo sleeve on her left arm of a Roman god, with white roses and the words 'la dolce vita' (the good life). In her right hand she is holding a small gold cage. This painting also touches on greed like previous ones, the meaning of the cage being that you may have wealth but 'a gold cage is still a cage'.

LA DOLCE VITA I | Mixed Media On Board | Framed 103cm x 62.5cm | Framed £5,950

Like La Dolce Vita 1 the subject has a suggestion of ancient Roman headgear and tunic over her shoulder as well as a modern tattoo sleeve on her left arm of a Roman goddess, white roses and the words 'la dolce vita' (the good life). On her left arm she is wearing a gold bangle with a modern 'bar code' design with the words con-sume.

LA DOLCE VITA II Mixed Media On Board Framed 102.5cm x 60.5cm Framed £5,950

The painting is about greed and consumerism in today's society. The words within the painting say it all: 'People were created to be loved, things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in such chaos, is because things are being loved and people are being used.' The shadow being cast by her arm is a marionette as used by puppeteers. She has a tattoo on her arm saying ‘die trying’ and arrows in her back to enforce the point.

DIE TRYING | Mixed Media On Board | Framed 90cm x 70cm | Framed £5,950

The betrayal of Christ by Judas for 30 pieces of silver is one of the earliest form of greed recorded in history, and this painting is my version of the last supper with a twist. Unlike the original by Leonardo da Vinci from 1490s, this composition depicts what the supper table would look like ‘the day after the night before’, using a combination of imagery and ideas both from then and present day.

IS YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW Mixed Media On Board Framed 95cm x 180.5cm Framed £12,950

This painting continues the theme of greed in today's society. The image is of a young man with long hair wearing a gold crown and smoking a £50 note. Behind him are images of skulls wearing crowns, which can be left open to interpretation. This one is about vanity, and rich mans pursuit of power, wealth and supremacy. My inspiration came from an illustration called 'All is Vanity' (1892) by an American illustrator called Charles Allan Gilbert.

MONEY TO BURN Mixed Media On Board Framed 90 x 90cm Framed £7,500

This is the first of two paintings inspired by the 'Great Dictator' speech by Charlie Chaplin in a movie from 1940. The speech was based around greed. This man is wearing a British flag mask made from British £20 and £50 notes. He has his arms raised above his head with part of the speech scribbled over his body. The woman in Private Everything (2) also has a face mask made from sterling notes, with part of the speech scribbled over her body.

PRIVATE EVERYTHING 1 | Mixed Media On Board | Framed 110cm x 70cm | Framed £6,950

PRIVATE EVERYTHING 2 Mixed Media On Board Framed 110cm x 70cm Framed £6,950

This angelic looking portrait shows a female student staring compellingly back at the viewer. In the background, there is a subtle image of a noose and down her arm she has the words 'We are the future' tattooed. This piece was inspired by a shocking statistic that 50% of students who commit suicide do so because of debt. The title refers to the cost to a student to go to university imposed by our government, since enforcing fees not grants.

£9250 On Paper Unmounted 65cm x 50cm £1,950

Conjuring up the old saying ‘with her head in a book’ this woman is quite literally trying to absorb knowledge from reading material. Or, perhaps it could be interpreted as she views information as a status symbol, and wears it as proudly as she would a crown.

KNOWLEDGE IS WEALTH On Paper Unmounted 65cm x 50cm £1,950

This charcoal sketch is another facet of my series focussing on greed. Reading down the subject’s arm, you will see the words manners, morals, trust, common sense and so on. Core values, defining characteristics, and all things that money can't buy.

MONEY CAN'T BUY On Paper Unmounted 65cm x 50cm £1,950

I have used what is ostensibly a figurative piece with a male subject, to weave sentences taken from the ‘Great Dictator’ speech into the collection. Pay particular attention to his neck, and you will be able to make out certain words. The speech, which warns against the evils of greed, is taken from the film of the same name and includes the poignant words “to those who can hear me” (or perhaps that should be “to those who will allow themselves to hear me”).

TO THOSE THAT CAN HEAR ME On Paper Unmounted 65cm x 50cm £1,950

This sketch is inspired by the age-old proverb about greed, ‘wealth is the slave of a wise man, the master of a fool’. This female subject, wearing a jester’s hat, obviously falls into the latter category and is weeping when confronted by this painful truth. WEALTH IS THE SLAVE OF A WISE MAN, THE MASTER OF A FOOL On Paper Unmounted 65cm x 50cm £1,950

The images contained within this literature are an artistic representation of the collection. To best experience our art, we recommend you contact your local gallery to arrange a viewing. © Washington Green 2017. The content of this brochure is subject to copyright and no part can be reproduced without prior permission.

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