Bearden 100

#56 Encore - 1980
By Romare Bearden

Selected by Tamara Natalie Madden

Encore - 1980

A Word about Encore-1980

I was immediately drawn to Bearden’s piece, Encore-1980, because of its vibrant palette. Bearden’s inimitable style of collage creates a juxtaposition of color against her black skin and makes the piece pop off of the screen. The crack in her skin where the blue peeks through seems to unify the woman with her background. I also liked that this piece featured a singular figure—a sole focus. It’s clear that she is the star of the painting.
Another intriguing element is the elephant’s foot that appears at the side of the piece, it’s seemingly a subtle reminder of the pride and dignity that the main character exudes. Encore-1980 illuminates Bearden’s range of color, technique, and visual voice.

Tamara Natalie Madden

Atlanta, GA

The Black Queen - 24 x 30 inches Mixed Media on Canvas, 2010

Tamara Natalie Madden was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica and raised in Manchester, Jamaica. It was during her childhood in Manchester that Madden was exposed to her first artistic influences.
Tamara was diagnosed with a rare genetic kidney disease called IGA Nephropathy. It was during her illness, that she found art again. She took a trip home to Jamaica in hopes of reuniting with family and finding a long lost brother. She had no idea that the trip would save her life. Her brother offered his kidney to her upon seeing the condition that she was in. This amazing offer was consummated with Tamara undergoing a successful kidney transplant. In 2001, she participated in her first art exhibition, making good on the promise that she had made to herself long ago to become a professional fine artist.
A self-taught artist, Madden’s paintings are visual allegories. Inspired by her vivid memories of Jamaica, she creates paintings that heighten the everyday person. Many of her paintings feature friends, family, and strangers whom she embellishes with mythical crowns that symbolize intrinsic beauty, strength, and regality. Her influences come from Egyptian and East African imagery, in addition to West African and East Indian influences. She is inspired by the works of many artists including, Gustav Klimt, Odd Nerdrum and Romare Bearden. Madden hopes that her usual, forward facing images, will force viewers to look at her sometimes, haunting paintings, to see the beauty within. Her mixed media pieces feature birds as a constant reminder of her freedom from illness.
Madden’s work has been collected in the U.S. and abroad, and many of her pieces are featured in prestigious collections. She has been highlighted in newspapers and magazines in the U.S and abroad. She currently resides in the Atlanta area.