Maxime Cramatte

25.05.2021 – 25.08.2021

Presenting his work in a chronological narrative for the Foundry, artist Maxime Cramatte reflects on a multinational creative journey in his exhibition titled Lucky 13. Though it may be hard to categorize Maxime Cramatte’s creative practice, his love for remixed culture and his foundation in motion graphics are immediately apparent.

Having learned about the power of advertising images, Cramatte became fluent in semiotics, recognizing the strength of symbols from which he builds his own iconography.  A unique aesthetic emerges from the side streets of old Dubai, where the artist lives and finds a source of inspiration.  If you could imagine pop art, Kushti wrestling, and a shawarma rotisserie blended with ice and served at an underground DJ set you might be able to describe the flavour of Satwa 3000, the collective Cramatte now leads.  Peel back the surface layer of his pop-culture aesthetic, and you will discover a frank critique of late-stage capitalism and a deep appreciation for cross-culture community building.

Before Maxime Cramatte became a creative Swiss army knife in Dubai, working in graphic design, videography, music and art installations, he grew up in a small town in Switzerland. Born into a creative family, Cramatte attended art school as a teenager, where he was introduced to a wide variety of music that sparked a life-long passion.  Early in his career, a schoolmate invited him to Dubai and quickly dispelled his misconceptions of the city by touring him through Deira.  Cramatte spent hours in old Dubai supermarkets, inspired by the packaging designs from Arab and South Asian brands, which continues to inspire his work. In 2015 Satwa 3000 was initiated as an open call to fellow creatives. At that time, Cramatte and his collaborators exploded onto the underground music scene with DJed house parties, interactive installations and alternative art forms. The collective worked with varied artists and curators, followed by pop-ups in Sikka Art Fair and Dubai’s Design District. By 2020 Cramatte was producing videos regularly while showcasing new and immersive art installations.  His first solo show in 2020 featured five years of Satwa 3000 history.  With a longstanding affinity for community-building initiatives, Cramatte now focuses on seeking new creative challenges and inspiring collaborations which provide artistic growth to all those involved.