Amanda Madrigal (b. 1990, Miami, FL) is an American Contemporary artist living and working in Miami, Florida. Madrigal is an alumni of New World School of the Arts in downtown Miami. Upon graduation she received numerous merit-based scholarships, such as the Presidential, Thalheimer and YoungArts awards to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. She acquired her bachelor’s degree from MICA in the spring of 2013 with a major in fiber arts and immediately began her career as a working artist in Miami, and has since exhibited her work across the United States as well as internationally.
I make soft sculptures and mixed media installations using repurposed materials sourced from local Miami thrifting, gravitating towards colors and patterns that catch my eye. When I touch an old bed sheet or a pair of pants, I feel like I’m being transported into someone else’s life. These objects act as portals through time and space, and I begin to wonder about the growth, and change that occurs through a period of time. I love that these things hold history within them and were once valuable to someone, yet are later discarded and forgotten. As an artist, my goal is to re-imagine a new space for them to exist, to transform these materials in order to create a new reality for them. I play with your old sweaters and turn them into tactile imaginary friends or metaphors for childhood and human development. As I work relentlessly to celebrate and re-stitch the fabric of our past, I reflect on the relationships we have with each other, nature, architecture, and time. I am interested in exploring the mind-body connection and utilize repetitive and labor-intensive techniques to play with ideas about how materiality and time relate to the human experience. I continually aim to question the dichotomy between physical and imagined space as my works situate themselves as natural yet distorted fragments of reality, interacting with their environment in unexpected ways.
My process is greatly influenced by the fact that my mother used her fashion degree to become a stay at home mom who made all of my clothes; she really had a way of turning nothing into something. She raised my sister and I in a way where we knew that anything is possible, and despite barely affording the rent, all the resources were here for us. Being resourceful meant making our own salt and flour play dough from scratch, knitting our own blankets, and creating elaborate cardboard houses for my stuffed animals to live in. I use objects of comfort and play to convey nostalgia in my work because I believe, that as we get back in touch with that which brings us joy, our inner-child emerges and we are whole.
Photo by Jovan Villalba