I'm Medicine Madison, and I am an interdisciplinary artist.
I believe that art is a tool which, if used appropriately,
enables a powerful spiritual renaissance. My affinity for Classical beauty is clearly visible in my street
photography, my love for simplicity is shown through my photography of nature, there are plenty of encounters with the Grotesque in my self portraiture, and my raw, primitive
and expressionistic side is revealed in my paintings.
My primary interests are photography and painting, yet my extensive artistic experience
spans across several mediums such as drawing, design, fashion design, jewelry making, sculpture, video and
animation. I'm always interested in trying new art forms and acquiring more knowledge. Besides
visual art, I also started studying classical violin in 2016.
My works are held in private
collections across the world (in Italy, in Greece, in the United States, in Israel, and in Romania).
You can read my artist statement - The Black Manifesto - here.
ABOUT MY WORK: PHOTOGRAPHS
There are two areas in which I am interested:
street photography, and self portraiture.
I will briefly discuss them both.
My street photography mainly (but not exclusively)
involves architecture, especially old buildings or
other architectural elements. I have photographed a
plethora of cities in several European countries:
Italy, Romania, Greece, Slovenia and Austria. I take these photographs in
order to record the essence of each of the
places I have visited.
I often choose to photograph
old buildings, in an attempt to expose the world
as it was in the past, when beauty was present in every
aspect of human life: buildings, furniture or
all sorts of everyday objects. I somehow live in the past,
and I keep modern technology at a minimum level
in my life. I want the photograph to evoke the time in which the house has been built.
I also photograph nature - the beauty of nature never ceases to amaze me.
My self portraits are the closest to my spirit,
because they involve a powerful metamorphosis, an exorcism of sorts,
a reincarnation. The self-portrait, in my case, always involves a mask. It might be a physical mask or a metaphorical one. The mask has many forms but,
contrary to popular belief, a mask does not cover, instead, it reveals, when the mask
is made by the person who wears it.
This is the role of my masks. Any sensation is
hyperbolized when I step into the role. The intimate spectacle of my self-portraiture
commences before I even start photographing myself. I force myself to enter a mental
state specific to the ongoing project. I always watch myself in the mirror while I am
building my characters, so I have the privilege of being the circus and audience at the same time.
I decided to shave my head in order to expand my self portraiture possibilities. The bald head has been a common
enough motif throughout my paintings, therefore, it was bound to escape my paintings and enter my own life.
But shaving my head also offers opportunities for personal development.
In this way, art is a tool that can be used to carve one's life, and life itself can become a form of art.
You can read an interview and article about my self portraits
(in Romanian) here.
ABOUT MY WORK: PAINTINGS
Primitive civilizations believed that art is sacred - primitive artists painted their deepest desires in a quest to turn them into reality.
Several times it happened to me, I would paint, draw, or write something, and after a while, those exact things I created
appeared in my life, as if I had called them to me, and even if I hadn't wished for some of those things to happen, they still came.
Art is powerful and those we call today "primitive" had this notion, a notion now lost by our contemporary society. Art has
this incredible shamanic quality to it, and once I learned about it, I became enlightened, and now I know that I need to paint what
I want in my life. I can now use my art to bring beauty in the world.
Curator Elena Ghiţoiu about my solo exhibition "A Primitive Nature" (excerpt):
"(...)These works carry an eerie and singular expression of primitive beauty, which is emphasized by a stylized figurativism reduced to essential traits.
The works signed by Medicine Madison employ a peculiar form of anthropomorphism, associated with vegetal elements. The powerful graphism of
the brush strokes and the geometry of the shapes contrast with the fragility and softness of the vegetation, often encountered in the pictorial
space. The artist's complexity is witnessed by the variety of the plastic techniques used: clay modelling, painting on canvas, glass and wood,
embroidery and clay interventions on canvas. All these are based on the chameleonic nature of the human figure mostly materialized in a wide
range of visual expression. (...)"
You can read an interview and article about my paintings
(in Romanian) here.
• 2022 – Group exhibition,
experimental video, "01:43:29", curator Mummy
Maskara, Domatio, Solomou 55, 10432,
• 2022 – Group exhibition, painting on canvas
and drawing on paper, "Noaptea Artiştilor Vii
(tr. Night Of The Living Artists)", curator
Cristian Cojanu, assistant curator Elena
Ghiţoiu, project manager Irina Damaskin,
1001 Arte, Calea Victoriei 91-93, Bucharest, Romania
• 2018 – Group exhibition, photography and paintings on canvas and wood, "Sinistrul/The Sinister", curator Diane Popescu, KunstRaum 153, Calea Victoriei 153, Bucharest, Romania
• 2017 – Solo exhibition, paintings on canvas, wood,
clay and glass, "A Primitive Nature", curator Elena Ghiţoiu,
Galeria Occidentului, Bucharest, Romania
• 2016 - Group exhibition, paintings on canvas,
"Exografic", an event held within Noaptea Albă a Galeriilor (White Night of Galleries)
10th edition, Curators: Mihaela Munteanu-Streck, Elena
Ghițoiu, Gibril Medical Clinic (Daniel Constantin street, no.21), Bucharest, Romania
• 2015 – Solo Diploma exhibition, photography and paintings on canvas and wood, "Self Portrait - Identity and
Spirit", curator Elena Ghiţoiu, Plantelor 47, Bucharest, Romania
• 2014 – Solo exhibition, paintings on canvas and wood, "Work For Pleasure", curator Elena Ghiţoiu, Grand Cafe Galleron, Bucharest, Romania
• 2014 – Group exhibition, paintings on canvas, Alandala
Club, Bucharest, Romania
• 2013 – Group exhibition, drawings, curator Alexandra
Croitoru, Dianei 4, Bucharest, Romania
• 2011 – Group exhibition, photography, Artyourself Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
You can see photographs captured at my recent exhibitions here.
In 2021 my documentary movie "Suita Titan (tr. The Titan Suite) won the Audience Award, also known as the Luis Bacalov Award, at the 39th edition of Bellaria Film Festival in Bellaria Igea Marina, Italy. This is a prestigious Italian film Festival which has been held every year in Bellaria, a charming seaside resort on the Adriatic coast since 1983. You can watch the movie
On the left, a photo of me next to the poster for the festival. On the right, the prize I won.
I am very
passionate about music, its influence upon my mind
and my work is tremendous. Music is, to me, the most powerful art form in existence. I only listen to
classical music, and this is why I decided, in 2016, at 24
years old, to study classical violin. The violin is a notoriously difficult instrument, and it suits my personality perfectly.
I want to be able to play all my favorite classical pieces, not just listen to them. I know it will take a lot of time until
I achieve my violin-related goals, but I am incredibly ambitious and hard working in all my activities, including the violin.
Inbetween 2021-2022, I recorded all the violin and tenor violin
Iordache's album "Zeuții".
This is my violin, Hermann.
This is my tenor violin, Frank. Frank was initially a standard factory made violin from Reghin. It sounded bad, but I thought I could improve it despite having no woodworking skills and only curiosity regarding how violins are made. In my initial attempts I removed the paint, becaue it was not varnish appropriate for violins, using sandpaper. The paint was synthetic and it blocked the sound. Unfortunately I broke the top plate which is made of spruce.
So I looked online for a violin made by the same factory and found an incomplete violin which was missing the top, but it was really cheap. Therefore, Frank is a modified violin made of two violin backs, exclusively made of maple. I modified these two backs by thinning excess wood with sandpaper and assembled and varnished this violin myself.
The stain is iron acetate (vinegar + steel wool oxidised for 2 weeks), black and green tea, coffee, walnut brew, watercolor ink, shellac based ink, Cabernet Sauvignon red wine from Chile, artisanal perfume containing styrax, frankincense and myrrh resins alongwith numerous essential oils.
The varnish is shellac varnish with copal and linseed oil to help it spread. The violin in polished with a mixture of beeswax, carruba wax, linseed oil, fir tree resin and other resins.
This was an experiment in DIY luthierie because I was curious how such an instrument would sound. It sounded horrendous and excessively shrill.
However I then discovered octave strings and converted Frank into a tenor violin, one octave below standard violin. Right now I really enjoy playing Frank, beforethese modifications, I couldn't play this violin, it scratched my ears.
THE BLACK ENCYCLOPEDIA
I started collecting mollusks, rocks, and all kinds of things one may find in nature since I was very young.
My collection now includes more than 1500 specimens of mollusks, cnidarians, and echinoderms, hundreds of rocks, around 200 minerals, and a handful of curiosities.
I keep them in boxes - but I realized that this collection can be useful to others, so I photographed every single specimen on a black background, identified the species,
gathered information about each creature, and I started to post them on Instagram.
This is why I created
The Black Encyclopedia, a scientific encyclopedia of mollusks, rocks, minerals & curiosities. Its purpose is to help collectors
identify their finds, as well as to provide useful information about each specimen, all of this is organized clearly and presented in a visually appealing way.
Anyone can contribute to the Black Encyclopedia with photographs and information about their specimens, and plenty of fellow collectors from all around the world have already done so.
These are two specimens from my collection, a Crassostrea gigas shell with numerous barnacles attached to it and a Cryptocrystalline radiolarite chert, both found on the coast of the Mediterranean sea.
I am based in Bucharest, Romania. Contact me at email@example.com for any
sort of proposals or inquiries about my work, as well as if you are planning a
studio visit. Follow me on Instagram &
Support me on Patreon