I met Maxime Taccardi through a friend and started following him on social media. I was quickly blown away by his unapologetic exploration of the dark side of the human psyche and folklore. Well educated and with a voracious and substantial following, Maxime boasts collectors around the globe. I am thrilled to have him drop by and share a bit about what drives him as a creative, just in time for Halloween, and the opening of his exhibit, “Beyond Khaos”, at Etrice Gallery in Albany on October 22nd.
Tell us a little bit about who you are, where you’re from and what you do as an artist.
I’m from Paris, France. I was an art teacher and kickboxing instructor for several years until I decided to retire to focus on my art. I’m a painter but also a musician, sculptor, photographer and video director. I enjoy experimenting in all art fields. I feel strongly attached to the principle of “Gesamktkunstwerk” (Total Art) explored by composer Richard Wagner. It is basically a melding of forms of art. I am also influenced by the composer Alexander Scriabine who tried to convey synesthesia within his work. Exploring a concept that strove to integrate all senses into one art piece. My art is the translation of my deeper thoughts and to a certain extend it is about the darkness that lurks within us all. Anyone can find an echo of their own psyche in it.
You were not always a full time artist. What is your background and how did you make the change to full time?
I obtained a Masters Degree in art and cultural sociology at the University Paul Verlaine in Metz. My parents passed away while I was still studying so I had no choice to go fully in the direction of my studies upon finishing my degree. They both died after a long battle with cancer. This had a strong and lasting effect on my practice. I actually did a painting called “Cancer” to represent the torment and pain they went through. I was doing a lot of artwork for bands in addition to a growing group of supporters and collectors which helped to build my reputation in the scene. This eventually allowed me to transition into a full time art practice.
What is your motivation? What inspires you to create?
Mostly my dreams and life in general. Creating is a catharsis. I transform my trauma and negativity into art. I am constantly in a state of “creative process” and let my urges guide me. Sometimes I don’t know what will appear on the canvas but the will is strong. I let spontaneity guide me.
Should people be afraid of the subject matter you choose to explore and the extreme methods that you sometimes use to explore it?
I think people should be more afraid of our current reality. We live in a dark world and my art is a reflection of that. I could paint little flowers and happy themes but what would be the point? For me, art is a stand, a way to provoke and make people react. To encourage thinking and transcendence. It is stronger than words. The message can be interpreted in a myriad of ways which is part of the magic surrounding art. Sometimes I use my own blood as a medium for painting. It is to give life to my work. Literally, a way to live through the work. It helps me to embody the spirit of Gesamktkunstwerk in a visceral and complete way.
Anything coming up that you would like to plug?
I have an exhibition called “Beyond Khaos” that will open on October 22 at Etrice Gallery on N Pearl street dowtown Albany, NY. It will have paintings, prints, sculpture and samples of some of my books and music.
I’m also working on my fourth book which will be released in 2022 by Heavy Music Artwork who published my 3 previous ones (The Book of Death, Beyond Khaos and The Book of Demons).
FB: @maxime.taccardi | IG: @maximetaccardiartworks