Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 81. Larry Madrigal.
"Drawing is something that I loved to do as kid," says 28-year-old artist Larry Madrigal. "I remember doing a self portrait when I was in the first grade on a small piece of paper with a blue pen."
It wasn't until he decided to attend ASU's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts that he fully committed to being an artist. Since graduating in 2013, Madrigal has been hard at work at his Glendale home, which he shares with his wife, Melinda, and their two rescue dogs.
"We sacrificed half or our apartment for an adequate studio space," he says. "I owe it all to her!"
And that hard work is paying off. In May, Madrigal was awarded a Contemporary Forum artist grant to further support his work. What's next? Not Disneyland. Instead, Madrigal's plans include continuing to work on a yearlong portrait series that includes a portrait of his wife. Soon he'll add to the project a painting of Los Angeles-based rapper Propaganda from Humble Beast Records. "I would love to have this series culminate in a solo show here in Phoenix in the near future," Madrigal says.
I came to Phoenix with my family in 1998 as a first generation Mexican- American. I learned to speak English at the same time that I learned how to draw.
I make art because it's what I believe I've been called to do. I can't get away from it even if I tried. And believe me, I have tried!
I'm most productive when I am less concerned with reinventing the wheel and more focused on painting. A good friend once told me, "Analysis leads to paralysis". So I try to be in the studio any chance I get, with a cup of coffee, of course.
My inspiration wall is full of: old painting and drawing studies from art school. I also have images of artwork by Johannes Vermeer and Jan Van Eyck, books, mini sculptures, and an occasional bouquet of flowers to keep things fresh.
I've learned most from my most recent painting. It shows me what ideas to develop further, techniques to investigate and ultimately sets me up for the next challenge. I also learned from a few valuable mentors in my life, some academic and others personal. Without them I don't know where I would be.
Good work should always be good work. Whether through skill, concept or craftsmanship, I have always been attracted to creations that leave me with a sense of awe and wonderment. I believe nature is also a "good work" that points us all to its creator.
The Phoenix creative scene could use more ambition, dedication, commitment, craftsmanship, skill, art critics, feedback, galleries, collectors, and artists. I believe this city has these things, but not enough to encourage many artists to stay and develop an art career here.
See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:
100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez 90. Chris Reed 89. Shelby Maticic 88. Olivia Timmons 87. Courtney Price 86. Travis Mills 85. Catrina Kahler 84. Angel Castro 83. Cole Reed 82. Lisa Albinger
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