Since his first sell out, solo exhibition The Heart of London, in Kensington, in summer 2019, Max’s work has gone from strength to strength, attracting new patrons and noteworthy commissions. In the run up to his solo show he was the first artist in 30 years to gain access to paint the iconic exterior of 10 Downing Street. Further access to rarely seen interiors followed with commissions to paint scenes from the inside of 5 Hertford Street and Oswald’s on the back of the owner, Robin Birley’s welcome patronage.
Following his exhibition, Max was invited to join Team GB as their Artist in Residence for the 2020 Olympics. In preparation for this assignment he painted sportspeople including the world champion boxer, Anthony Joshua, in his gym during his training camp. Max is the first artist to be granted ringside access to the great man.
In addition to painting our sporting heroes, Max has carved out time to paint a series of portraits of our new heroes; frontline workers, including the two critical care nurses who were singled out by the prime Minister for saving his life. The portraits which were painted from life are currently displayed in Number 10 next to the Prime Minister’s office.
Max’s preference for oil paint is attributable to his ‘alla prima’ (wet on wet) painting style. As he explains, “My preference for working in oil is down to the paint’s slow drying time on the canvas; not only does this allow me to mix colours that won’t dry the minute I’ve made them; I can also work fast and confidently with good fresh, expressive brushstrokes, which in turn, offers me greater flexibility and opportunity to interpret what’s in front of me. Secondly, oil paint doesn’t dissolve in the lashing rain or cake up when the midday sun is beating down; this makes it the ideal medium for the extreme climates I too often find myself painting in.”
In the tradition of some of our most celebrated artists, Max is an advocate of painting “in situ” rather than from the comparative comfort of his studio. This approach has found him with his easel, brushes and paints on London Bridge for four, very cold weeks in January painting the Thames in the middle of the night (On London Bridge) to spending languorous afternoons in some of London’s finest hostelries capturing the ebb and flow of its thirsty denizens (The Scarsdale in Summer)
Max was born and originally brought up in Santiago Chile, before spells in the wilds of Wiltshire and the foothills bordering Barcelona; where the thirteen-year-old Max was mentored by a direct descendent of the legendary, Spanish painter, sculptor and ceramicist Joan Miró. His nomadic upbringing meant jumping from school to school, speaking different languages, adjusting to new cultures and making new friends more frequently than most of us. In spite of this peripatetic existence, Max has enjoyed one constant in his life that has coursed through his veins from his earliest memories – his unflinching love of art and the firm belief that he was put on this planet to paint.
As James Napier, the founder of the London Atelier of Representational Arts (LARA), one of the top three classic, arts ateliers in world which teaches the highly structured curriculum, originally to develop seventeenth century painters in Europe and where Max honed his skills for over three years, attests, “A very determined Max turned up on the LARA doorstep asking if he could join our atelier, unfortunately, on account of being only 14, we couldn’t open the doors to him for two further years as the course includes a hefty portion of nude painting. He returned days after his sixteenth birthday and took to the rigours of the course immediately.”
This summer Max was cited top of the list in Tatler magazine’s “Young artists beloved by the social set and names to know”.
My trip to Ukraine felt like the furthest away from home that I had ever been. The exhibition will be about the journey of leaving the comforts and familiarities of home behind. Though these brave men and woman were in their own country, I believe they felt further away from home than I did. The London pubs and countryside fields that I call home and recognise as comfort had disappeared. And the word comfort becoming unfamiliar as we ventured closer to the front. I must say, this was one of the most dangerous trips that I had ever been on.Max Denison-Pender
Get in touch
You can see a selection of Max’s works below. If you would like to commission Max, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the gallery on 020 7839 2792.
Works for sale
Please click the images to see sizes and pricing.