Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, M.I.A. ( stage name, “Missing in Act(i)on”) is a British born Sri Lankan musician, producer, painter, and director. Her music combines elements of hip-hop, electronica, dance, alternative, and influences from around the world.
A groundbreaking and always controversial musician, M.I.A. is an influential artist and an important cultural figure of the last decade. The first nine years of her life were marked by displacement due to the Sri Lankan civil war—a theme that continues to influence her work. The book is a documentation of her entire visual output and a telling of her story in collages, photos, and prints from her early years in art school at Central Saint Martins in London, through to her hugely successful three albums, mixtapes, and live performances at MoMA, Coachella, various international exhibitions, installations, and music video shoots.
The artwork is comprised of a wide variety of materials and media: video stills turned to stencils pieced back together to make animated installations; spray-painted canvasses scanned into digital collages; photographs videotaped then run through bad computer connections to create graphic prints; artwork on nails, on walls, prints for T-shirts, handmade stage costumes — anything she could find while she was touring. Also included are assorted lyrics an exclusive interview in which she discusses candidly the personal events and themes which informed her art and music at the time of each campaign. Includes foreword by Steve Loveridge, a friend and collaborator from art school days.
She has been nominated for an Academy Award (for her work on the soundtrack for Slumdog Millionaire), two Grammys, a Brit Award, and the Mercury Prize.