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Mat Maitland: Michael Jackson – Xscape (detail)

Work / Graphic Design

Illustration: The tremendous Mat Maitland remains untouchable as the king of surreal music imagery

In the midst of some research last week I came to Mat Maitland’s site and spent a blissful few minutes reminding myself of his brilliance. Mat – one of the talents on the consistently excellent Big Active roster – pulls off one of the most difficult image-making tricks around, and what’s more he makes it look easy. There’s an awful lot of surrealist collage and far too often it feels like it’s trying too hard, but Mat knows exactly what works and what doesn’t and just as importantly he knows when to stop. So it’s no surprise that big-name clients are beating a path to his door, so Mat is the man behind the new posthumous Michael Jackson release and a recent Prince single among other gems.

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Mat Maitland: Michael Jackson – Xscape

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Mat Maitland: Michael Jackson – Xscape

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Mat Maitland: Michael Jackson – Xscape

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Mat Maitland: Prince – FALLINLOVE2NITE (Portrait of Prince, courtesy of the artist/NPG Records)

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Mat Maitland: Samsaya

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Mat Maitland: Samsaya

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Mat Maitland: Samsaya

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Mat Maitland: Michael Jackson – Xscape