17 (Hamed Maiye)


About PM/AM

PM/AM is a London based contemporary art gallery, residency program, and incubator whose mission it is to reflect how we engage with art today. Dedicated to growing and nurturing emerging talent, as well as gaining exposure for artists without formal U.K. representation, the platform has organised exhibitions globally and events across its home city, using a flexible space model to accommodate the diversity and dynamism of the artists’ practices they showcase. It also has two permanent locations—one central, one west.

PM/AM has a reputation for discovering and helping to launch the careers of some of the most exciting contemporary artists of today. While its focus is on international talent, it also has a keen interest in UK based artists coming out of the country’s leading art schools. As well as maintaining a traditional exhibition programme, PM/AM is dedicated to finding new ways of working with the artistic community, expanding upon its shows with events, ongoing residency projects, and pilot schemes designed to connect collectors with the artists they love.

The London residency is of particular focus, further cementing the gallery’s commitment to growing and shaping artists’ careers by giving them a space to create and introducing them to the local artistic community. Rather than following the accepted representation model, PM/AM aims to facilitate ongoing support for the artists it works with through instinctive management beyond and outside of exhibition and residency collaborations. 

PM/AM has been featured extensively in the press, garnering coverage from leading publications including The Times, Art Forum, The New York Times, Independent Magazine, The Guardian, Vogue, Vanity Fair, The Face, Dazed, Hyperallergic, Elephant Magazine, The Financial Times, Juxtapoz and Purple Diary.

Exhibition Text

When discussing his artwork, Hamed Maiye takes on the role of a philosophical magician, concerned with the experience of conscious reality from the perspective of the individual and collective mind. As esoteric as this may sound, when he is painting – in his own words – is when he feels the most human.

He is guided by a desire to explore personal memory, identity, stories, alternative avenues of thinking. However, as if conjuring an independent entity that emerges alongside, the progression of a work deepens its representative potential, taking tentative steps into more abstract and obscure concepts. Some of these evade description altogether, instead forming an ineffable layer to the work that is felt but not substantiated with content – when Hamed says his work can “open a space for vagueness”, it is this that he is referring to.

Self-described as an interdisciplinary artist, Hamed works with various materials and procedures in the creation of this work, which has tapped into drawing, installation, portrait photography, film and textiles. Despite this diversity, he is first and foremost a painter.

His recent work to an extent is a distillation of his wider artistic background – studies of the human form, centralising the richness of its expressive capacities and symbolic associations. These apparitions have a sense not of being placed onto the deep black of the surface, but invoked from within it, blessed with their own agency and their own story. This idea is in keeping with Hamed’s views upon the creative process, which he considers an act of magic, a conjuring of existence.

The sorcerous nature of this approach borders on the surreal, but it’s important to note that Surrealist associations tend to revolve around the fantastical or dreamlike. Hamed’s work, despite its mysticism, is rooted elsewhere. Surreal adjacent magic realism would perhaps be a better descriptor, but then it’s precisely this type of overwrought linguistic categorisation that the work seeks to break free from.

The work in this exhibition represents the latest to be uncovered in Hamed’s artistic anthropology, where a discovery of the self – and ourselves – calls into question what lies beyond the corporeality of flesh. The oil paint, pastels, chalk and lace prints are tools through which visitors from the spirit world are analysed and our differences with them measured. We find through this a level of interplay, deftly abandoning absolute ideas that hold the body and the spirit apart.

This concept echoes the root of a particular area of study for Hamed, the common themes that can be found in revisionist Westerns. In these our classic, polarised notions are twisted and inverted; villains become heroes, ideas of what can be considered ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are ill defined.

In his body print work this sense of crumbling definition crumbling, of in between spaces, is most clearly evident. The process involves various oil-based substances and dry pigments applied to the painting surface using his own physical form, creating a result that is partly an artwork and partly a record of a performative act. The figure appears caught in the process of shape shifting, the core of its identity and psychology exposed for questioning.

Viewing these images allows us to see beyond the boundary of rationality, and into a place of malleability, where the artist becomes part of the myth.

Daniel Mackenzie
February 2022


Hamed Maiye
Born: 1991, Lagos, Nigeria.
Lives and works in London.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2021 – 10. PM/AM, London.
2021 – Old Friends, New Friends. Collective Ending, London.
2020 – An Ode to Afro-Surrealism. Horniman Museum, London.
2020 – Open Studio. Block 336, London.
2019 – Behold, The Invisible! The Swiss Church, London.
2019 – Everpress 50/50. Protein Studios, London.
2019 – This Is Not A Funeral. Regents Place, London.
2019 – Third Space II. Third Space, Cambridge.
2018 – Friday Late: Snap with i-D. V&A Museum, London.
2018 – H(ACKT). Ugly Duck, London.
2018 – East. Willesden Gallery, London.
2018 – And Now It Begins. GX Gallery, London.
2017 – Transmission. Protein Studios, London.
2017 – Late at Tate. Tate Britain, London.
2017 – Ain’t I Beautiful. Hive Dalston, London.
2017 – Afro-Portraitism. Republic Gallery, London.
2016 – Dark Matter Series 1. Shoreditch Platform, London.
2016 – Rise of the Anti. Republic Gallery, London.
2016 – Subvert/Reflect. Republic Gallery, London.
2016 – Subvert. Gallery on the Corner, London.