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 University of Wisconsin–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.
Madden’s recent solo exhibition with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust garnered positive feedback from local art critics and observers. Her exhibition entitled, “Out of Many, One” (the Jamaican motto) sought to expand the visual repertoire of viewers and their perceptions of Jamaica and its people. “Ms. Madden’s recasting of the poor and neglected may remind an observer of Kehinde Wiley’s regal portraits of inner-city black men, currently on exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. What distinguishes Ms. Madden’s work, however, is the specific focus on Jamaica.” Madden’s work was featured at Art Basel Miami with Mocada Museum and International Visions Gallery. In an interview with Okay Africa, Madden, and several other artists talk about the inspirations for their works.
Madden’s influences are varied, and include Gustav Klimt, Milwaukee Artist Ras Ammar Nsoroma, 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.
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 and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Her exhibition at Syracuse University in New York yielded a positive review from the Syracuse newspaper, The Post Standard. Madden’s paintings have been featured in the New York Times, The Morning News,Upscale Magazine published by Bronner Bros., the Gleaner Company,The Huffington Post , and On-Verge | Alternative Art Criticism. In 2014, Madden was named as one of 40 black artists to watch by MSNBC’s The Grio.
On November 4 , 2017 Tamara passed away , she
resided and worked in the Atlanta area and was a fine art professor at Spelman College. All of Tamara paintings are extremely amazing.
May this Queen Rest in Paradise