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Meet Max Hurd

London-based art director and stylist

Meet Max Hurd - illustration 1

Max Hurd, London-based art director and stylist

Meet Max Hurd, a London-based art director and stylist. From the very beginning, his eyes were set on the creative industries, as his childhood was a period enriched by vibrant colors, fashion, and music. Discover more about his inspiring, artistic journey and vivid influences in our interview!

1. Hi Max! Can you tell us about your background and what influenced you to choose your current career path?

Hi! Growing up in Brazil, I was always surrounded by color, fashion, music, and art. So, when it came to choosing a career, it was always going to be something within the creative industry. I started out working as a shop assistant for my brother's godmother, Anya Hindmarch, and did various internships at PR Agencies in my summer holidays. My career path changed dramatically when I was cast in a Burberry Campaign when I was 18, which led to a few years of modeling before I decided I was happier behind, rather than in front of the camera. From modeling, I went onto blogging (as it was called before influencing took over!), and then styling and art direction.

2. Did you always know that you wanted to be a stylist and art director? If not, what were the motivating factors behind your career choice?

No! I never really had a great master plan when it came to my career. I have always slightly made it up as I've gone along! I fell into styling very organically, it was a natural graduation from dressing myself to dressing others, and from there I realized I also liked being in control of how the whole shot turned out, so art direction was an obvious next step. I have been very lucky to have worked with some amazing people who have allowed me the chance to try my hand at lots of different roles.

Meet Max Hurd - illustration 1
Meet Max Hurd - illustration 1

Max in an atelier

3. How would you describe your style? And how has it evolved?

I would say that my style has definitely calmed down a bit over the last couple of years. I used to be a lot more out there (although I have never really been sure where 'there' is)! It's now quite heavily 70s inspired, with a dash of Dorian Grey. Lots of large collars and high-waisted trousers, with velvet suits and costume jewelry.

4. Do you draw upon any specific artists or art movements when styling or art directing? If yes, who and why?

It is completely dependent on the project. Part of my job is to interpret what the client wants, and help them to expand on their initial ideas, and often the best way is to show them references relevant to their ideas. I love this part of my job as it allows me to spend hours researching different genres of art, film, fashion, and music. My job is to create stories and to sell a fantasy, and I do of course have my favorites. I tend to come back a lot to the Pre-Raphaelite school for their storytelling (my absolute favorite painting of all time is Chatteron by Henry Wallis), Max Ernst for his extraordinary dream-like scenes, Otto Dix for his portraits, and all the 18th-century French Rococo painters for the sheer level of camp. Photography-wise I always go back to George Platt Lynes, Helmet Newton, Peter Schlesinger, Slim Aarons, and Andy Warhol.

Meet Max Hurd - illustration 1
Meet Max Hurd - illustration 1

 A selection of photographs of the artistic director

5. Does your profession impact the way you decorate your home? How would you describe your interior design or personal art collection?

Definitely! My home has to be reflective of what I can do creatively. Especially in this post-pandemic era, where we spent a lot more time looking into each other's homes through social media, facetime, zoom, etc! My house was done with the help of my great friend Benedict Foley. We decided to treat my house like a client and create a space that was reflective of who I am as a person and where I am in my life right now. Turns out where I am in my life is somewhere between an Oscar Wilde drawing room and a Brazilian bordello! It's colorful and slightly mad, but I like to think very considered! My personal art collection is a mixture of antiques I have picked up from all over, lots of Brazilian art, and a few very special pieces given to me by close friends and family.

6. Do you have a favorite place to experience art?

In London, either The Tate Britain or The Wallace Collection. Otherwise, Venice, which is essentially a piece of art in itself.

7. Do you have any advice for people interested in a similar career trajectory but are too intimidated to jump in?

Just jump in! Be brave and don't be afraid to pitch yourself for jobs that you might feel you do not have the experience to take on. Everyone is making it up as they go along! Also to all young freelancers out there - the best advice I was given was from my stepfather who told me that “your day rate is the highest number you can say with a straight face!"


Their favourite artworks

Patrick Sarfati, Body Painting par Keith Haring, Photography

Patrick Sarfati

Body Painting par Keith Haring, 1985
15.7 x 11.8 inch
Photography

$830

Our recommendations Egon Schiele, Lovers, 1917 (Mann und frau, umarmung), Print

Egon Schiele

Lovers, 1917 (Mann und frau, umarmung), 2021
29.3 x 20.5 inch
Print

$819

Our recommendations Alain Longeaud, Contre-jour, Photography

Alain Longeaud

Contre-jour, 1985
25.6 x 19.7 inch
Photography

$1,659

Xiao Ying Chen, Love Cures No.8, Painting

Xiao Ying Chen

Love Cures No.8, 2021
39.4 x 31.5 x 1.6 inch
Painting

Sold

Our recommendations Alexey Golovin, Still Life With Monkey, Fruits and Flowers, Painting

Alexey Golovin

Still Life With Monkey, Fruits and Flowers, 2008
53.1 x 41.3 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$19,620

Gabrielle Rul, Hasty Departure, Painting

Gabrielle Rul

Hasty Departure, 2022
12.2 x 9.1 x 0 inch
Painting

$311

Ivan Tzonev, Tête Z, Painting

Ivan Tzonev

Tête Z, 2021
31.5 x 23.6 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$498

Patrick Pietropoli, Brutus Family, Painting

Patrick Pietropoli

Brutus Family, 2022
77 x 56 inch
Painting

$25,000

Our recommendations Ricky Cohete, Man’s hand: From Motion Series, Photography

Ricky Cohete

Man’s hand: From Motion Series, 2019
36 x 24 x 0.1 inch
Photography

$2,222

Our recommendations Alexander Calder, Potpourri en Ciel, Print

Alexander Calder

Potpourri en Ciel, 1975
29 x 21.75 inch
Print

$12,500