MAD C aka Claudia Walde (DE)
Claudia Walde holds degrees in Graphic Design from the University of Art and Design, Halle, and Central Saint Martins College, London. Valuable experiences from the world of academic life were preceded by an active rapport with the graffiti and street art phenomena when she was only a teenager. It is this confluence of situations – immediate connection with the street art subculture and a devoted approach to art research – which has been decisive in turning Claudia into the artist she is today. How did this turn into an inspiring artistic career?
One part of the answer to this question lies within Claudia’s research of street art, embodied in the two books she published in 2007 and 2011. As a young investigator of an entire movement (she carried out the research for the books in her twenties), Claudia showed remarkable potential for cultural and anthropological insight. In Sticker City – Paper Graffiti Art (2007), she explores the culture of hand-painted and hand-crafted posters and stickers. The significance of the book lies in Claudia’s success in capturing the transformation of the graffiti movement, enabling the reader (as well as the author herself) to understand the evolutionary path of an entire art form. Here, the cultural comparative analysis is enriched with the large number of cities and artists which had been explored. For the other publication, Street Fonts – Graffiti Alphabets from Around the World, Claudia embarks on a different kind of reflection – one determined by an anthropological query and an artistic dialogue.
154 artists from 30 countries were asked to design the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet. If the first book reflects the myth of the street art movement, this one undoubtedly coveys its logos. Finally, the spring of 2015 brings a publication focusing on leading mural artists and major murals from various corners of the world. Here, Claudia, the author, takes up the role of an experienced muralist herself…
These inputs would prove decisive for the evolution of her artistic expression – on the streets and inside the studio – Claudia Walde becomes MadC. Today, the already cult 700 Wall along the train line between Berlin and Halle stands as a reminder and insight into a specific period of the artist’s work. The piece represents at least two levels of MadC’s creative capabilities: on the one hand, it is an homage to a meticulous approach to craftsmanship and, on the other, it resonates an intricate exploration of the boundaries of the artist’s visual language. It could be said that, after this piece, MadCbecame ready to start building another aesthetic universe.
This is exactly what she did with a new body of work which was part of Reflections show at Kolly Gallery during 2014 and The Tahiti Mural in Tahiti, during the same year. The seemingly reduced aesthetics of MadC’s canvases and street artwork show a devotion to the exploration of roots of an entire subculture. MadC confronts us with the notion of addressing the essence of graffiti and street art cultures, in a way that highlights the importance of a never-ending (re)interpretation of the two concepts. A “traditional” subject matter is re-contextualised into a completely new visual language.
In an age when the language of theory has entered the world of art, never to leave it again, the power of the artist is under constant pressure of deconstruction. This is especially true when it comes to street art, a movement which confirms that contemporary art is becoming, ever so slightly, “taken away” from the artist. It can be said, without a doubt, that MadC has recognized the complexities of the ever-changing contemporary reality. She has achieved this through meticulous research, a constant dialogue with the art world (especially the graffiti and street art cultures) and a creative process empowered by an innovative visual narrative. These are the instances which one must keep in mind when following the practice of MadC in the coming period. For it is going to be quite engrossing to see the artist‘s next transformation… MadCwas born in 1980, in Bautzen, GDR as Claudia Walde. She is a citizen of the world, currently based in Germany.