Thinking street inside-out.
After few years involved in street interventions, Liverpool based multidisciplinary artist Max Mallender accommodated his practice within the more reliable setting of his current studio at The Royal Standard, where he’s been creating for the last two years. Within the nurturing environment of this artist-led complex hosting approximately 43 practitioners, Mallender appreciates the company of fellow creators along with – probably unhealthy but undoubtedly delightful – large doses of coffee. Music is also a solid part of his daily ritual, with his favourite songs being regularly added to his ‘mega diary’ playlist. Having found himself in a relatively small site compared to the outdoor expanses he is familiar with working on, the artist went from an initial repulsion for the tight squarage to enjoying such limitations. Chaos takes over, although he does not shy away from admitting he would very much love to benefit from a stricter organisation. When inside, a good feeling of stepping outside comes from the many graffiti tags and repurposed components that Mallender manipulates. By bringing the exterior inward, he keeps a strong connection with his primary source of inspiration. Mallender describes the result of his typical day in the studio as the opposite of what he had intended to accomplish, embracing chance and the serendipity of the moment to lead him, pulling solutions out of the “messy” situations he finds himself into. Contrary to his home, where he seldom engages in artistic activities apart from occasional drawing and digital experimentation, the studio is where his major projects come to life, by virtue of experiencing close contact with the tools and items informing his production. This is where the unlearning of electrician pipes, plastic cloths, scaffolding poles and other similar equipment comes to place. To compensate for the claustrophobic atmosphere of his workshop, the artist surprised us with an exciting arrangement of his most recent work in the white cube gallery of the shared venue.