Reacting to the proliferation of digital collage art that has engulfed social media, Canadian artist, Maxwell N. Burnstein’s works evoke the tactile and genuine quality of handmade art being lost in this contemporary age.
In the weeks following his graduation from Ryerson University’s School of Fashion in Toronto, Canada’s premier fashion Institute, Burnstein began a self-imposed 30 day art challenge, during which he tasked himself with creating an original work of art daily and using Instagram as a way to exhibit it to the world. Within 18 months, Burnstein’s handmade multi-dimensional collages had prompted international artist residencies and collaborations with leading fashion publications including Elle Magazines, Harper’s Bazaar and digital advertisements with Perry Ellis.
As a student Maxwell Burnstein noticed the prevalence of art in the fashion industry and the potential to bridge two worlds into one visual narrative. Burnstein, who traces his love for photomontage back to early childhood, found a deeper appreciation for the art during his years at university, where he was able to create a strong eye for design and see the adoption of collage in fashion.
While most of today’s mixed media collages are created digitally, Burnstein creates his with an x-acto knife, a glue stick and paper. “I have an idea of how the images will fit or work together. I’ll pair the images up, normally two to three, print on hard stock and start taking apart the image till it can weave together. Each final piece is a series of layers that are woven and placed together. Normally i print the work, sit and create until I am done working.” This process can take at least five hours depending on the complexity of the collage.
Maxwell Burnstein’s expression through his various collages is combination of fashion and art that is truly unique and engaging in a highly current way.