Born and raised in Halifax and currently based in Toronto, Maxwell N. Burnstein is a self-taught collage artist who specializes in transforming deconstructed photographs into multi-dimensional art.
“Creating narratives by bringing all these different existing pieces together to tell something new really spoke to me and I’ve kept doing it since,” says Burnstein. “Thankfully, collage art has managed to remain a medium within the fashion and pop culture industry, even sports and entertainment.”
With nearly eight years in the industry, he’s worked with many luxury brands and publications including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dolce and Gabbana, MCM, Porsche, Vogue, Esquire, and Elle.
While his work has become recognizable in the arts and culture spaces, his process is still down to earth and simple–as simple as cutting and pasting. He uses an exacto knife, taping glue and sourced copyright-free photography to create his works.
“The entire process is done physically,” he explains, adding that it is then scanned and made into a digital file for accessibility. “I wanted this work to remain present in our current digital age, but still recognize that sense of tradition and craftsmanship.”
His most recent project was in collaboration with LOUIS XIII Cognac to promote their latest innovation THE DROP. This 1 centilitre bottle is an ultra-personalized and high-fashion spin on the timeless LOUIS XIII Cognac, revealing the aromas of Cognac Grande Champagne since 1874. It’s designed to be carried on the move and represents a spontaneous lifestyle.
The elegant bottle is available in five different lid colours: Red, Sand, Clay, Gold, and Vine, and customers also have the option of purchasing a matching leather Bottle Case to empower them to travel with THE DROP wherever they go.
To bring this vision and story to life, Burnstein designed five different collage worlds centred around each of The Drop’s colour profiles.
“I first started by thinking closely about the key customer base behind this luxurious product. This helped me develop an identity for each of these colour profiles and build a little world around them,” he says. “Each one has multi-sensory elements to pull in that whole lifestyle component of fashion.”
When designing the collages themselves, Burnstein also leaned into the use of soft, organic shapes and silhouettes to also mimic the flow of the luxurious spirit.
“I wanted it to feel very dreamlike,” he says. “But my main inspiration and focus were on the types of customers I could envision wearing and experiencing THE DROP.”
Scroll below for an inside look at Burnstein’s pieces and click here to learn more about THE DROP and the rest of the LOUIS XIII Cognac collection.
Muskoka – Vine – Bold
“Vine brought me to Muskoka and played on that bold escape to nature with moss, a foggy lake, and a cabin.”
Gold – New York City – Glow
“At night, New York City glows and almost shines Gold. From the Hudson Yards and Times Square to the Empire State Building and the attendees of Le Bain.”
Sand – Oahu – Bright
“The Sand cap immediately made me think of the beautiful sands in Oahu, Hawaii. My mind went to bright florals, drinking out of coconuts, and elegant vacations.”
Clay – Milos – Smooth
“Silver led me towards the rock formations and homes of Milos, the island in Greece. There was an element of salt and invigorating marine life, which sparked the idea of being on a yacht, luxury hotels, and really relaxing.”
Red – Paris – Loud
“The Red cap felt like Paris for its loud, bold, and beautiful culture. The city is bursting with monuments like The Arc de Triomphe, luxury hotels, and cafes to discuss its vibrant film scene.