Meet the Toronto-based collage artist who worked on ELLE’s 250th cover
Maxwell N. Burnstein is exploding onto the fashion scene
What excited you most about this collaboration?
Given the opportunity to create an original artwork for the 250th issue let me touch the ELLE readers in India and be part of the legacy.
Take us through your creative process, how do you research your work and arrive at the final output?
My artworks are made through analog collage techniques. Deconstructing photographers by hand using an x-acto knife, the layers are merged into an artwork that takes on a new cohesive narrative.
Collage artistry has recently shot into popularity, thanks to social media. How did you find yourself in this field?
My career was founded through Instagram, gaining most of my opportunities directly through the platform. My social media pages act as my portfolio and business card, giving me direct access to everyone I want to work with, and vice versa.
New York City came out in style to support the launch of “Death of an Icon” at Contra Gallery (@contragalleries). Open for two more weeks, my first exhibit in the city takes over the full gallery with two installations, engaging friends and patrons alike. This achievement wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my partners, working together to bring this collage narrative to life. Artist: Maxwell N. Burnstein (@bymaxwell) Landscape Photographer: Jason Barbagelott (@barbagelott) Press: Levatio PR (@eleanorcastellani) Gallery: Contra (@contragalleries) DJ: Sean Spellberg (@seanspellberg / @ktsrfnyc) Special Thanks: @goldbarwhiskey @liqs Picture Above: Kale Friesen (@kalejfstudio)
Tell us about some of your favourite projects. What’s challenging about the medium?
I just launched my exhibit “Death of an Icon” at Contra Gallery in New York City, a collaged commentary on the construct of celebrity culture and the result of fame on Hollywood, Los Angeles. This exhibit series took months to source the images of celebrities and working with resident photographer Jason Barbagelott to capture the pollution, poverty and resulting lifestyle many LA natives face. Creating framed works and installations for this exhibit gave audiences the opportunity to explore the collage art beyond screens or print publications.
What can we expect from you next?
I am in Vancouver next week to celebrate the launch of my national campaign for Canadian apparel brand Kit and Ace. Then in November, I am back in New York City for my next exhibit at the W Hotel Time Square. There is something new every week it seems, so stay posted through following my Instagram @bymaxwell for all the updates.