Dublin artist Maxi spends his days treading the familiar streets of his cherished home town, photographing its progress through the city's architecture. From his studio, at the gates of the celebrated Guinness Brewery, Maxi uses digital illustration tools to transcribe the snapshots of mellow red brick tenements standing alongside convivial pubs and shopfronts, playfully dialing up their impact, bestowing them with gleaming lights and cheeky graffiti. Never removing the scuffs and chipped paint, Maxi lovingly displays these battle scars, witnesses to the building's energetic narrative. His images reveal a Dublin known only to locals, a series of places resonating with echoes of the many wild nights and intimate dramas that have unfolded there.
For his New York print, Maxi has chosen to celebrate the iconic tavern, The Stonewall Inn. Situated in Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan, it was the site of the Stonewall riots of 1969, considered to be a keystone moment in the gay liberation movement, and the beginning of the gay pride parades.
Maxi pushes this modest one story building into the spotlight, a floodlit beacon in the dark. Rainbow flags festooning the upper floor window sills, and festive fairy lights wink and shimmer invitingly. The image shows us the business proudly open, ready to welcome partygoers, a defiant gesture reminding us that freedom of expression was not always permitted here. Patrons of this bar faced incrimination and societal judgement if found here, and passing through these doors was once an illicit act. The historic site presented in Maxi's image is brimming with pride, declaring itself as an inclusive place, a place for dancing and revelry. Floating in space, Maxi's Stonewall is eternal, set against an inky sky, multicoloured stars twinkling like disco lights.