Straight forward and immediate. Her drawings of people, parts of body, objects and events are a reminder of the process of rediscovering and proving of great interest to the contemporary public. Her art is self- explanatory. In 20 years of hyperactive output (already at the early age her occupation was drawing and painting) she produces hundreds of works that are very diverse in technique and form. Painting and drawing are the culmination of constant, daily observation but representing tribute to and love of, abstract.
She is also a big thinker. A woman of many words who speaks fast but wisely, or who might decide to give you the answer to the unasked question if she doesn´t like the question you ask. She produces tons of work, not just drawings, paintings but also sculpture and writing. Her intention into writing occurred when studying journalism and then switched to painting.
Her work was exhibited in France and Spain, an important part is also collaboration with her gallerist, David Pluskwa, who has brought her work to the attention of the art scene. Not only her extraordinary talent and her very personal vision of the world, but also and above all, a precious testimony to contemporary abstract expressionism, helped her to bring the work from obscurity to light today.
Indeed reality has always been a central theme to Rose´s Madone work, and if it's because she draws pleasure from common things or if it´s because her paintings are autobiographical and necessary, it's clear that when looking at her work is like leafing through the pages of a personal, intimate visual diary in which Barcelona is summarised on the canvas.
The exceptional nature of her work is also recognized by Can Pep Rey as we are currently in a stage of producing some of the pieces projecting her work on textile. We continue our journey with Rose through the second episode of ´Portrait of an Artist´, in collaboration with a video maker Belen Pogliaga, finding both dark and light in a nostalgic view of a Super-8 camera.
What is your name and what are you doing?
My name is Rose Madone. I am a painter. I´m 27.
How did you discover your artistic interest?
I always painted and drew when I was a child and did a lot of theatre too. There was always an attraction to the world of art. But I was not very clear about it when I was young. Because for me it was not a profession. Since my family was very involved in the scientific world, I did not imagine it and it was not the way to owe the future.
When did you discover you wanted to paint, to be an artist? Was it when you got to Barcelona ?
Yes, I did a master degree in Journalism and Communication in the north of France, Lille, where I am from. I moved to Brussels for one year and went just for the vacations to Barcelona. Coming here I realised I needed to take some time off, come and enjoy life. So I thought, damn if life sucks, I'd rather be in the sun. I moved to Barcelona and contemplated what I want to do and what doesn't bother me to do for hours and hours every day, and the answer was painting. And I told myself to hell with that ... okay if it doesn't work, it doesn't work but in the end, you have to try.
What were your influences when growing up?
This is very difficult because my references are not from painting. I listened to a lot, a lot, a lot of music. My first great reference was Marilyn Manson on the subject of provocation. I loved him very much. I think we all have a bit of this darkness inside of us, the destruction, the provocation. And then I was more into real rock and roll and I really liked Pete Doherty. They are my artistic references when I was young. I have as many references, as I have none. More inspiration comes from the people who are living in this world.
And now who inspires you?
I am very inspired by the great artists such as Pierre Soulages, Max Beckmann, Tapies ... But the ones I have found for some years are Skung Dog, Clement Verdiere, Hug Pat, Flore Stura, Marta Adalid, Juan Diego Thielen, Tilt. Skunk Dog saw me at an art fair in Lille when I was starting my career as a painter. He immediately understood my energy and my willingness to express myself and I guess this is why he presented me to David Pluskwa gallery, which is my first and official gallery that I'm working with.
During a few months I had the pleasure to share his studio in Marseilles with Clement Verdiere and Hug Pat. It was for me the first time that I could share a space with really creative people and this made me grow both as a person and as an artist.
It's a kind of family now. Even if we are not sharing the studio anymore that will be probably my best first artistic human experience.
Then I had the opportunity to rent a crazy space in Gracia and I created it with Juan Diego ( my boyfriend ) which today is Desemparat studio. For the story I actually fell in love with him because I was amazed by his talent and his creativity. His way of thinking about life and expressing himself in art was so pure that I could immediately love him.
Now there are Flor and Marta who have been part of the project for more than one year now and this is my new family, an artistic spanish one.
There is a lot of potential here in Barcelona and they are the ones that inspire me a lot. I´m very much inspired by everyday people.
Is there a theme that brings you or influences you in a way that you like to reflect it in your paintings?
I like to talk a lot about life. It seems very silly to say this when your profession is to be an artist but I get inspired a lot by love and existence in general . I´m very much inspired by the dark side of human beings. This is what interests me. My work is a kind of philosophical reflection on life, on our society and more than on our generation. The non-identification that we have about other generations is a topic that I like a lot. The hopeless desire for what you are not but for what you represent is something that I like to talk about. Everything about hypocrisy and what we live in. The lack of honesty about ourselves. I like to talk about the different feelings that we have inside us which are what composed us and define us as a proper person.
If you're depressed it doesn't matter because it happens to everyone. If you are sad or feeling melancholy it doesn't matter, you know? For me, they are the purest feelings because they are the ones we hide. As if we have a kind of mask. We have to live all these energies that we consider as bad feelings, if we are not able to accept them we won't be able to see and feel the good energies, the ones after the storm which make you feel grateful to be present in this world, in this life with the good and bad moments.
That is why I work on that because it seems to me that it is a psychological, philosophical issue. It seems crazy to me that we are in this world of pretense and of not being when we know that life is so short and flies away.
What kind of audience do you paint for and where are your works exhibited?
I don't really have a target actually. I think art is for everyone and it's made to be shared but of course nobody is able to touch the entire world with his way of expression and his way of seeing the world.
So I guess I paint for everyone, for everyone who is ready to open their eyes a little, about our reality, about our world, about the people that are around us ...
I exhibit my art with my galerie David Pluskwa. I made my first solo show, Errance, with him in April 2019, an ode to the Odyssey and the way back to Ulysse in Itacles which for me was representing the research of myself through the different steps of life.
It was composed by thirteen steps as the legendary story, from Khaos to love and the things you find in your way which make you grow up and help you to discover the real you ( even though it's not always funny and easy) .
Then we made a lot of art fairs in Paris. It's true that with David I had the opportunity to expose very quickly and well. This is super support for me because he believes a lot in my abilities and he is able to handle me which is not something easy at all times.
When you do this type of work and ask yourself a lot of really serious questions about the world and yourself, it is very important to have someone like him to support your creative energy and give it a voice in the complicated world of art.
Why did you open the Desemparat studio?
Because it is my first real personal project. It's a bit of sacralization. It's as if you have reached the end of the chapter of your life, you know? It's like the realization of my way of expressing myself, it's my place, it's my little house, it's my love, it's my everything. It is a place where I am without any fear. It is a place where I’m not really afraid to be myself and being judged for the way I'm thinking and creating my own world. At first I did it with Juan Diego, who is a sculptor, and I thought it was actually interesting to bring more people in and to share our way of life. That's how we met Flor and Marta, my two other artist friends.
It is really about creating every day, expressing yourself in any way and learning every day more about art and yourself.
And the name of Desemparat as it comes?
It is the street name of the studio actually… Carrer Mare de Déu dels Desemparats ( in catalan Street of the Virgin of the Forsaken) and we have thought that it was quite obvious and funny to play with this sagraded name “mother of god” / Rose Madone because when you know the place, you can really see why it’s protecting Forsaken.
All of us in this workshop don´t come from here, nobody is Catalan. Flor comes from Argentina, Marta comes from Madrid. Juan comes from Venezuela, I am from France. It is a space where we can be ourselves, find real friendship and have the blessing of each other to grow up and be who we are and feel protected by this place and the people who work there. So the name Desemparat was kind of made to represent us.
What objects make you happy?
A vinyl player with some vinyls. Please don't ask me which ones… laugh… It's too hard for me to choose one kind of music, I guess it all depends on my mood and the feeling that I'm in the moment I listen to the music.
A glass of red wine and a book makes me very happy. And the kitten that bites me on the leg while I'm enjoying my time makes me very happy.
Simple things are the best.
Is there something else you would like to do instead of painting?
Theatre actor. Because I am a drama queen. I wouldn't have to act, you know? I would only have to know my text. Which can be a big problem. I could be an actress without text, without improvisation. I think this could be fucking awesome.
What kind of artists are you?
I consider myself a “chill dramatic artist” ( laughs ). With this work you have to be honest about yourself and that will be lying to say that I'm easy and that my head doesn't have thousand of thoughts in the day.
But I think I don't have the same opinion about drama that most people have.
This mood represents so many feelings.
You can be the drama queen in life or have drama in love. It reflects a lot with my work. I have a way of expressing what I'm not talking about. My art speaks of dramatic things and has got dramatic subjects.
Because in the end what I always say is that if you don't have drama in your life, how are you going to know when you're happy and when you're going to enjoy yourself and when are you going to say today is a fucking great day? If you've never had a shitty day, you can't know what a good day is. The drama also helps you to remind yourself about life. There is French movie called La Vie n´est pas un long fleuve tranquille (´Life is not a long quiet River ´), it seems great to me to have this comparison, because it is just like that. As river is fucking great but sometimes it is also super cold, sometimes it leaves its bed and destroy everything around.
Sometimes there is drama and I think it’s okay to live with it and accept it.
I just try to give beauty to this feeling and this mood that we all kind of reject because it’s not the reflection of the perfect life that we all want (now comes the moment that we have to define what's perfection, and the answer is that there is no perfection so we are searching things that don't even exist).
Talking about drama which appears in life it's also for me a way to face it and to accept it.
I think it’s a way to find my own balance and to accept the dark side inside me and the light side and make them work together. Because for me you don't have to reject the darkness inside you, you have to accept it and see the beauty in it “ In the shadow the light is always working ” / Yin Yang.
With which elements of nature do you feel most connected?
I'm definitely air even though I know that we all have a little bit of each element inside our personality. I also like water cause it reflects spirituality but the air is more about intellect, the reflection.
It is very psychological, it is very good and weighs heavily on the elements on an astrological level. It seems to me that it is my element because I think a lot, probably too much ( I'm working on it for a long time (laughs).
Rose Madone interviewed by Marta Marszalek
Photographer and Videomaker: Belen Pogliaga
Music by : Ramiro Edelstein
as a part of a series of ´Portrait of an Artist´