We were college buddies studying English and Sociology respectively at the University of Pennsylvania. Our unique pastime and pleasure became juxtaposing words and images from the New Wave 1980s with the rich, limitless archive of every decade before.
A few years later we started MAXIMAL ART, a Kensington-based accessories brand centered around collage jewelry: double brooches, watches, necklaces, belts… again delighting in the mash-up of time. With designs concocted from Victorian watch faces, hand-colored imagery, ’50s bits and baubles, and ’80s kitsch, we dare say Maximal Art stands as a precursor to Steampunk style. At the time, though, this was simply our sensibility, an unexpected hybrid of fashion and art, of elegance and punk.
Our journey was fast, exciting and international. The attached article from Elle Magazine captures the heady moment well. As Andy Warhol famously said, everyone gets fifteen minutes of fame. That was our moment together. By the 1990’s, minimalism ate maximalism and we, as design partners, went our separate ways. This brooch, officially style LSR-GB-W6, remains a wearable time capsule and as of this writing, just twenty years shy of being an official antique!
John Wind and Hilary Jay, 2016, Founders, Maximal Art, Philadelphia