"It’s a Picture Telling a Story" | Charlie Roberts

“I didn't grow up with abstract or conceptual art or anything like that. So, like for me, the root is really about storytelling.” American artist Charlie Roberts is known for his intimate figurative paintings, which depict the complexities and nuances of modern life in bright colors and intricate detail. To Roberts, painting is, first and foremost, narrative. Growing up in a small town in Kansas, Roberts recalls a mural in the local post office depicting workers in the fields. Discussing the evolution of figurative painting, Roberts notes its recent shift from nostalgia to contemporary relevance. He draws inspiration from the specificity and anti-nostalgic nature of rap music: “Rap music is specific and it's obsessed with dating itself and it's obsessed with referencing. It's like anti-nostalgic. And I think that is so potent for me.” Roberts' works often celebrate and critique modern life, reflecting personal insecurities and the complex interplay of consumer culture. This includes a fascination with finance and modern societal structures, incorporating these themes into his art with a critical yet appreciative lens. Charlie Roberts was born and raised in Kansas, United States. He graduated from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada, in 2005. He is known for collecting and sampling elements from contemporary pop culture and hip-hop to art history in his praxis, which spans wood carving, ceramics, painting on canvas, and watercolor on paper. Roberts currently lives and works in Oslo, Norway. Christian Lund interviewed Charlie Roberts in Roberts’ studio in Oslo, Norway, in 2022. Camera: Rasmus Quistgaard Edited by: Nanna Rebekka Produced by: Christian Lund

MAFF Shop Icon



MAFF makes sustainable shopping accessible

We had a showroom sale on the streets of Orchard & Hester. PLASTIC IS THE COMMON ENEMY.





Ahead of a dedicated online sale, the acclaimed Ivorian artist discusses the ideas behind his distinctive work and its links to the African street children who find escape through graffiti. A painter and craftsman, the Cote d'Ivoire-born artist Aboudia speaks with us about his creative process (many of his works incorporate materials found in Abidjan and NYC) and the importance of including children in his art. ‘It’s possible to grow up on the street and become someone.' — Aboudia




Death of the Follower & the Future of Creativity with Jack Conte

Patreon CEO Jack Conte explains how the current internet algorithms are killing the traditional "follower" for creators, threatening their creative freedom and livelihoods. The internet started as a platform that democratized creative distribution. You could upload your work to platforms like YouTube and immediately have it accessible to millions of people. After that came the "subscribe" button, which enabled creators to go beyond reach. Now they could build a following and find their true fans that would support them to build a creative business. But with the rise of platform-focused algorithms (Facebook's ranking, TikTok's "for you" curation), creators cannot reach their following and true fans. This shift has had a devastating impact on creators' creativity and ability to support themselves doing what they love. He advocates for the new spaces on the internet (like Patreon) where creators can always connect with their communities, create what they want, and control their own destinies.




Christelle Kocher of KOCHÉ | MAFF Artist Spotlight

KOCHÉ is a fashion brand established in Paris by Christelle Kocher in 2015. KOCHÉ is on a mission to push values of openness in fashion: diversity & inclusion of genders, body shapes, materials used, social and geographical origins.. moreover, KOCHÉ DNA is based on elevated craft know-how.




MAFF chat — Nana Nyahan 🇬🇭

Ring rring it’s #MAFFchat featuring fam across the 🌍 Dialing in with #nananyahan based in Accra, Ghana. Using a myriad of contrasting colors and textures, Nana takes her viewers on a psychotropic journey drawing inspiration from her relationships, pain, sadness, and experiences of intimacy. Nyahan creates a utopian reality for both her and her viewers; an instant escape from the day to day noise.




Domingo Colman | MAFF Tour Uruguay 🇺🇾

Helping a homeless dog lead us into discovering a hidden Uruguayan legend. 🇺🇾❤️‍🔥 We love you Blue. Producer @milagrosbrasco Not possible without: @arielmeilich Organic house queen @mai_berg Return of the dogs @aiam___maia @aguabrota @doctorawild bong @nathaquer shelter @juampi.boa for the jams @leapedranzini for printing Art @chiara.baccanelli @gustavojauge art @facundo.diazz @flordepalleja @estudiodelespacio @milagrosbrasco @azulgattas @piligomensoro shelter Food & vibes @panaderiaji @rizoma.lajuanita @almacencasadealimentos @protectoradeanimalesmaldonado




Nicer Tuesdays: Ines Alpha

Joining us from Paris, Ines Alpha works with AR and 3D renders to reflect on our ever-increasing need to express ourselves. Here, she explains how she developed this unique practice, providing some insight into how she applies this to commercial projects for the likes of Selfridges, Charli XCX and Nike. Nicer Tuesdays is a monthly event curated by It’s Nice That bringing together a selection of speakers for short, sharp insights on new and timely projects.

MAFF Shop Icon




With the community recognizing local artists while saving homeless animals.




Pierre Huyghe on "Liminal", Punta della Dogana

“Magic is the science of signs. Signs are an interplay of symbols. In this respect yes I believe in symbols.” Pierre Huyghe is a French artist who works in a variety of media from films and sculptures to public interventions and living systems.




Vivian Suter

Vivian Suter was born in Buenos Aires in 1949. He has painted in Basel, Vienna, Africa, Bern, Rome and Panajachel and has lived in Panajachel, Guatemala since 1982. Panajachel Traveling through North and Central America in 1982, Vivian Suter arrived in Panajachel - a town on the shores of Lake Atitlán - and remained there, forming her home on land on an old coffee plantation. Since the beginning of the 80s, most of his artistic work has been created from this scenario, and many of his works have become part of it. The gravels, along with the aguacatales and mango trees, which were originally planted to protect the coffee plantations, provide the shade area throughout the year. A steep path, in which the bleachers are mixed with the sidewalk of the mountain, leads to the study of Vivian Suter, from which you can see above the tips of the trees, the town of Panajachel with its lake and its volcanoes. The art that is born here is about the wind, the volcanoes and the vastness and clarity of this tropical landscape. Under the shadow of the coffee plantation, there is a second study. The view between the gablets reaches only the leaves of the dense banana plants that grow in front of the house. This is where the foreground works are created: the recurring motif of the forbidden fruit, the look on oneself or fixed on the interior.




Otay:Onii | MAFF Tour Shanghai (Episode 2)

"Lost is an illusion. Open your hands, you'll realize you have everything." Otay:onii (Lane Shi) is a multifaceted artist originally from Haining, China. Her artistic practice spans across music, sound design, installation art, and film composition. She is the lead vocalist and keyboardist of the punk spit band Elizabeth Colour Wheel (US). Lane's voice is like an ancient call, sometimes beckoning the soul, and at other times, piercing the listener like lightning. Lane came to the U.S. at a young age when she still needed parental accompaniment, living as an immigrant with a dual cultural background. This marginalized, non-mainstream existence makes her voice transcend cultures and languages. She wrote, "My task is to solve a puzzle with another puzzle that can't be seen, be touched, but to feel."

Load More


Emma Talbot: Telling the Stories of Our Times


“My work is really about a very personal experience of being alive at this period of time.” We visited Emma Talbot in her studio in London, to talk about how she transforms the intangible realms of thought and emotion into tangible expressions on silk canvases. As she introduces herself in the opening moments of our conversation, Talbot articulates her artistic project as an exploration of stories that echo the zeitgeist. Touching on big contemporary issues, such as societal structures, and our relationships with technology, ecology and nature, Talbot describes her art as an interrogation of the human condition: “the brevity and fragility of life itself; what is given value and worth, what is memorialised, and the inevitable experiences of love and grief.” Talbot's artistic repertoire spans from paintings on silk to animations and drawings. The latter always works as her starting point: “I developed a practice in which I start withdrawing, and I let myself draw whatever comes to mind without really trying to direct the subject of the drawings or what they're exploring so that I can see what it is I'm thinking.” Yet, it's only after a phase of deep research - online, through reading, or by seeking diverse forms of knowledge - that she refines and enriches these raw expressions into motives and narratives. In her winning proposal for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Talbot took as a starting point her fascination with Gustav Klimt’s painting Three Ages of Woman (1905), which features a naked elderly woman standing in apparent shame. In her mind, the woman looked like a future version of Talbot herself, and so the figure became an avatar to tackle some of the contemporary issues that Talbot addresses in her practice. Talbot's pivot to using silk as a canvas reflects a profound quest for artistic freedom. Influenced by writers like Hélène Cixous, who explored finding one's own voice in writing, Talbot sought an equivalent liberation in her visual language. The ethereal qualities of silk offered the flexibility she craved - something drapable, cuttable, and wearable - a material that could carry the weight of ideas without becoming burdened by historical constraints. Her intricate process of painting on silk involves a delicate balance, where fluidity meets substance, allowing her to control the marks on the surface while embracing the material's inherent delicacy. The resulting large-scale paintings, described by Talbot as "collages of ideas," become immersive experiences, inviting viewers into a dialogue with the intricate narratives within. Emma Talbot (b.1969) studied at the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design and Royal College of Art. Her work was showcased at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia as part of the exhibition ’Milk of Dreams.’ In 2022, she was awarded the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, which cumulated in the exhibition The Age / L’Età shown in Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia and Whitechapel Gallery in London. Talbot's exhibition history includes solo shows such as “The Human Experience” (2023) at Kunshtall Stavanger ’In the End, the Beginning’ (2023) at Kesselhaus, KINDL, Berlin, "When Screens Break" at Eastside Projects in Birmingham (2020), ’Ghost Calls’ at DCA in Dundee (2020), and ’Sounders of The Depths’ at GEM Kunstmuseum in The Hague, Netherlands (2019-20). Noteworthy exhibitions also include ’Woman-Snake-Bird’ at Galerie Onrust in Amsterdam (2018) and ’The World Blown Apart’ at the same gallery in 2017. Her recent work ‘Seeds Grow in Fertile Ground (Every Thought is an Opening)’ (2023) was featured in the group exhibition ‘Irreplaceable Human? The Conditions of Creativity in the Age of AI’ at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Her work has found a home in collections worldwide, including Guerlain in Paris, British Council Collection, Arts Council Collection, City of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, David Roberts Collection, Saatchi Collection, University of the Arts London, Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth, Fries Museum NL, and Arnhem Museum NL. Emma Talbot was interviewed by Nanna Rebekka in her studio in London in April 2023. Camera: Alex Newton Edited and produced by: Nanna Rebekka

Creative Director



This website uses cookies.
By using this website and it's content, you accept these cookies.
Learn More