Tamara Natalie Madden

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tamara Natalie Madden
Nationality Jamaican
Known for Painting Mixed Media

Tamara Natalie Madden is a Jamaican-born painter and mixed-media artist working and living in the United States. Madden's paintings are allegories whose subjects are the people of the African diaspora.


Madden was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She moved to America from Jamaica permanently when she was an adolescent.

She attended the Frankfield Primary School in Manchester, Jamaica, and Rufus King International High School in Milwaukee, WI. She studied at several universities including UW-Milwaukee. Madden became ill with a rare disease for women and African-Americans called IgA nephropathy in 1997 and suffered immensely during that time. While living on the dialysis machine, Madden found art again. Art helped her to heal emotionally, so she decided that it was important to pursue it further. She received a kidney transplant from her brother in 2001, and participated in her first art exhibition that same year. Her first solo exhibition was in 2004, and it garnered her an interview with the late James Auer of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.[1]

After her solo exhibition in 2004, Madden relocated near Atlanta, Georgia. She met her mentors Charly "Carlos" Palmer and WAK (Kevin A Williams) while living in Atlanta. In 2007, Madden debuted a series entitled, "Kings & Queens", which focused on heightening the everyday person.

Madden has created images based on her memories of the people of her native Jamaica, placing them in beautiful fabrics (raw silks, colorful satins, etc.), that mimicked those worn by royalty. Birds are a common theme in many of Madden's paintings, chosen as a personal symbol of her freedom from illness.

Madden's influences are varied, and include Gustav Klimt, West & East African Royalty, Egypt, Asia, and the clothing worn by native African and Indian women. She chooses to paint imagery that represent the people of the African diaspora.

"Here again we see the idea of identity, or lack of it, serving as a springboard for the artistic voice. Madden engages unidentified "everyday folk" and raises them to the stature of "kings, queens and warriors, who never had a chance to shine."[2]

Several of her pieces are in the collection of different departments at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. She is also in the permanent collection of Alverno College in Milwaukee Wisconsin and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit Michigan. Her exhibition at Syracuse University in New York yielded a positive review from the Syracuse newspaper, The Post Standard.[2] Madden's paintings have been featured in the New York Times, The Morning News,[3] Upscale Magazine published by Bronner Bros.,[4] the Gleaner Company,[5] The Huffington Post,[6] and On-Verge .[7]

Madden currently lives and works in the Atlanta area.


  1. ^ Auer, James (16 June 2004). "After poverty and illness, artist paints to survive". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Rushworth, Katherine. "Uneven show by 3 African American women offers food for thought at Community Folk Art Center in Syracuse". The Post Standard. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Rabarison, Karolle. "The Guardians". The Morning News. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Henderson, Tiesha (January 1, 2010). "The Dreamer". Upscale Magazine. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Gordon, Sharon(Feb.25–3 March 2010),"Gallery offers new outlet to artists", Extra North America, A Gleaner Company Publication, Vol.2 Issue 8. Retrieved 13 June 2011
  6. ^ Lambertz, Kate Abbey (16 October 2012). "'Visions Of Our 44th President,' Exhibit Of Barack Obama Art, Opens At Detroit Museum". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  7. ^ Slade, Tiffany Nicole. "Everyday Heroes: Behind the Art of Tamara Natalie Madden". On-Verge. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 

External links[edit]