multi-media artist

Still Life

Added on by Paige Madden.

Below is a short still life study series focussing on the relationships between the celebrity, collage, geometry, optical illusion, sculpture and photography. The process and compositions themselves remind me of a movie set, creating a physical world for characters and ideas to move within. For this short study I used photos and props that symbolize Michael Jackson in order to demonstrate the illusion of the celebrity. I look forward to studying further how reflective and refractive materials respond to other objects.

When I look at these photos I see the landscape in which the celebrity and icon are born. The space is neutral, clean, infinite and has no geographic location. The space is within ourselves. In these photos I aim to create landscapes that show the process of creation, how the celebrity is born from a sphere of black obsidian or pyramid of crystal. 


Added on by Paige Madden.

  I am drawn to red and blue. I will buy any paper, fabric or coloring tool, as long as they are red and blue. These two colors interest me because of their relationship with one another. When I place the two colors side-by-side my brain has trouble defining the plains they rest on. I struggle to keep focus yet I cannot look away. These colors vibrate. These colors try to fool me.
  I created a gif based on this idea of struggling to keep eye contact and focus, challenging the viewer's involuntarily reactions. The design for this piece was then used to make a mural. Using the same repetition as in the gif. 
  Next research will be optical art and optical illusions.


Added on by Paige Madden.

Lately I have been focussing on what my work is conveying and what my goals are for my work. I believe it is important to not only make a lot of work but to take the time to reflect on what I have made. This means conducting additional research and writing on the topics/subjects I use. It has definitely been a change of pace for me artistically but I like where my work is going because of it. I have been thinking more critically about the materials I use, subjects I research and topics I am addressing. I have a long way to go but I feel I am going in the right direction. 

In progress statement:

    My work aims to understand the nature of our perception and how it contributes to the illusion of the celebrity and icon. These structures cannot stand without our participation. Through a diverse range of media, I am exploring the physical and allegorical space between the illusion and ourselves. We stabilize the illusion of the celebrity and icon through commonalities between the perceived image and our own sense of personal identity. 
   In appropriating various forms of visual media, I focus on how a seductive and illusive visual language is used within an image in order to signal a sensation of identity and need, within the viewer. In relation to my subject matter, my process is transparent and my pieces are fragile. I layer objects of varying opacity (paper, glass, tracing paper) in order to create pieces with dimension and depth, pointing to the artwork's own artifice.From the complexity and depth of the pieces, I reinforce that celebrities and icons are nothing more than what we make them - what we want them to be.

Coffee and the Mona Lisa

Added on by Paige Madden.

I'm struggling. I'm making pieces that seem to have no real value. They don't connect with my ideas and thoughts surrounding our culture. I have been writing some to get a better grasp on my thoughts and to develop a clear and concise statement.

Here are a couple of thoughts:

Our tendency to obsess over celebrities is not a result of our media and over-sharing but rather from our evolution as intelligent and self-aware beings. Our entire human existence has been a focus of our purpose. This internal search for ourselves has developed into a visual quest for meaning.

How do we use illusions to represent icons and brands? Does my work want to expose the illusion or rather contribute to it?

Everything comes down to language. If it's repeated enough the language lives. A dead language isn't dead if it can still be recognized and accepted as a language. (for example--e.g.)

Money, time, fame. Illusions constructed by humans to further life's purpose. But their power comes directly from our own emotions and needs.

The balance between the illusion and the real -- what lies on either side of the line? what are the boundaries?

When reducing an image to its fundamental parts what does it mean when I reach the boundary of recognition? 


Back to Colorado

Added on by Paige Madden.

Halfway through August and I haven't made any new work within 4 weeks (except for small sketches and drawings) I can start to feel the itch to create come on. Since arriving back in Colorado and starting work again I have been thinking a lot about how I want to approach my next body of work. I have been so drawn to objects and using them within my work. While I still want to incorporate found objects I feel that I need to focus (and somewhat limit) on the two dimensional in order to challenge my creativity. I'm excited to see how the work I made while in Toronto will transform and translate in my day to day studies. 

Oh, Canada

Added on by Paige Madden.

On July 3rd I embarked on my first artist residency on the Toronto Islands of Lake Ontario. Here I spent two weeks creating, researching, reading and writing. I brought paint, magazines and glue with no idea what the experience would inspire me to make. My work in collage has become too limiting for the ideas I want to explore and express so I started to combine paint and collage. While I enjoyed the results it was yielding I did not feel like I had much direction or focus. An exercise that was recommended was to write about what I was making rather than what I was reading. Doing so provided me with more insight on the materials and subject matter I was using. While I enjoyed my time in Toronto and will never forget the bonds I made with people I hope to participate in a residency that is 2-3 months long. This amount of time will allow me to create a body of work around a refined and focussed idea. 

While in Toronto
Mostly I listened to: Nina Simone, Michael Jackson, Blur, LCD Soundsystem, Talking Heads, David Byrne,Gorillaz
I watched: What Happened Miss Simone? and Chef's Table
I (started to) read: 33 Artists in 3 Acts, Linguistics: A Graphic Guide, Noam Chomsky: On Language and Visual Illusions: Their Causes, Characteristics and Applications
I bought: A handmade wallet and some damn good Indian food
Are you really still reading this?

Here's some work I made (Don't worry, I made much more, but it's all shit)

"Converse", 2015

Added on by Paige Madden.

Thanks to an amazing support group I held a reception for a small body of work I created in June. The body of work is titled "Converse". I wanted to display new pieces while expanding on older ideas. A main focus for this project was to create pieces that were integrated into the office space. By doing this my audience was able to converse over, within and next to my artwork. This body of work was aiming to speak to the passive intake of media and the integration of media into our daily language. 

Some major inspirations for these pieces was Mark Mothersbaugh and Jean-Michel Basquiat.



Added on by Paige Madden.

I have recently become a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut's writing. I read Cat's Craddle earlier this year and I fell in love with how Vonnegut creates his characters and speaks to the reader. I'm only a little more than halfway through Slaughter-House-Five but wanted to share some points in the book that really stuck out to me:

"She said she was going to join a church as soon as she decided which one was right. She never did decide. She did develop a terrific hankering for a crucifix, though. And she bought one from a Santa Fe gift shop during a trip to the little family made out West during the Great Depression. Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops."

"All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warning or explanations.It simply is."

"It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor...They mock themselves and glorify their betters."


Moab, Utah

Added on by Paige Madden.

I just returned from a trip to Moab, Utah. While this trip was more of a birthday celebration I cannot help but constantly think of new project ideas. One of the things that has always been on my mind since moving to the mountains is how our consumeristic culture has infiltrated public lands and national parks. I see a collage when I see a pipe sticking out the side of a mountain, paved roads to natural wonders, port-a-potties in the middle of a desert. We have become strangers to our lands, to our surroundings and to ourselves. Is this consciousness? 

Work in Progress

Added on by Paige Madden.

I've been playing around with alternative modes of display and representation of images. I like using found and collected objects. It's challenging to work with such limited materials. I think it makes me investigate the material, understand its language. 


Mad Max and the modern stage

Added on by Paige Madden.

I saw Mad Max: Fury Road this past weekend and I have to say I am obsessed. Beyond the awesome post-apocalyptic steam-punk costume and set design the movie (and older ones as well) center on one theme: human nature. 

One scene that sticks out in my mind is the first look at Citadel and the first speech given by the king. The basic structure of the city has the king's quarters at the highest point with a stage to present himself to the people of Citadel. I automatically thought of structures used for presidential speeches, music concerts and Greek theater. The power that is built into these structures is subtle but very intentional. The stage lends itself to the crowd, giving an illusion of intimacy. The figures are protected. How does this illusion play into our perception of celebrities (especially performers) and political figures?

I want to create an installation or performance piece that relates to these ideas and exposes the illusions.

Below The Surface

Added on by Paige Madden.

Last week I dropped off my artwork for the Below The Surface show at Salida's regional library. This piece it titled "Minutes and Seconds". Thanks to the local frame shop I was able to get this piece ready within one day. I should probably look at my calendar a little more often to prepare for upcoming deadlines...




Added on by Paige Madden.

With Salida's Artwalk just a few weeks away I have been busy making products and refining older pieces to display. 



In the Stars

Added on by Paige Madden.

I watched the Jimi Hendricks documentary last night where Andre Benjamin plays Jimi. A certain part of the movie really resonates with me. The scene is about midway through the movie after Jimi arrives in London, he describing his first acid trip. He said that when he looked into the mirror he thought he looked like Marilyn Monroe. I laughed when I heard him say that. It was tragic and ironic for him to compare himself to such a recognized icon when he did not quite understand the impact he was having on our culture. This scene, whether it is factual or not, perfectly sums up the complex identity issues surround fame, exposure and the way we sensationalize people. 

I have always been obsessed with Michael Jackson, but maybe I should look deeper into other iconic figures such as Jimi and Marilyn. They are the subjects of many great artists for a reason. As time passes the identity and significance of the celebrity changes. There will always be more to explore. Having only video, music, interviews and writings to research these celebrities gives me better, more objective, understanding of the celebrity persona. How can I relate these modern day celebrities to ancient figures... 

since watching Jimi's documentary, All Is By My Side, I have been listening to his music. My favorite song so far is Listen to his Miami Pop Festival album. 

Reading list

Added on by Paige Madden.

I have been juggling quite a few books lately. Some grab my attention more than others so I rotate to keep each fresh. Most of my artwork is inspired by books, billboards, movies, television shows and commercials. I try to read books that are strongly informed by these elements. But I also love Harry Potter. And A Series of Unfortunate Events...

Current list includes:

Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

33 Artists in 3 Acts - Sarah Thorton

Amusing Ourselves to Death - Neil Postman

Slaughter House-Five - Kurt Vonnegut


Added on by Paige Madden.

I've decided. I'm going to let you in.

I'm going to share my work. Not just my work but my processes, inspirations, random and deep thoughts. What's the use in putting all of my work on this website if I don't share how it came to life? Why not share the struggles I constantly go through within my creative process? So check back in with me to see what I'm up to.

If you'd like to be put on my mailing list to be notified when I make a new post please send me your email via my 'contact' page.

Through this blog you will understand the world of being Paige Madden.


  Photo courtesy of Beth Johnston-Grimes, an incredibly talented photographer based in Colorado.


Photo courtesy of Beth Johnston-Grimes, an incredibly talented photographer based in Colorado.