Joe Madeira examines the human condition through the multiple lenses of gender, identity and sensuality. Part narrative, part fantasy and part autobiography, the work is an investigation of thinking, rather than observation. As such, it seeks to act as a production of the unconscious. Madeira often starts by creating a fictional space, a stage where allusions to the body are displayed and become curiosities. These bodily parts are reimagined as a collection or agglomeration of desires, anxieties and fantasies. It becomes a spectacle that both conflates seriousness and humour, a mixture of cynicism and reverence to the brutality and vanity of contemporary society.
Born in Portugal, Madeira completed a Masters of Philosophy at the Royal College of Art in 1996 with a research paper in ‘Post-Humanism: The post-modern idea of self’. Between 1997 and 2007 he worked in corporate identity and branding. In 2008 he returned to art by opening CABIN - a project space in London where he exhibited emerging artists such as Gabriella Boyd, Jonny Briggs, Willem Weismann, Charles Richardson and Zhu Tian. “This was an extremely educational period for me - both as curator and artist - to be able to re-connect with contemporary art,” Madeira explains. This period was also one of intense personal development, subsequently informing much of his current art practice. In 2016 he closed the gallery to focus entirely on his art practice.
1993 - 1996 Royal College of Art (MPhil)
1991 - 1992 Central St Martins (MA)
1984 - 1989 Faculdade de Belas-Artes Lisbon (BA)
2018 - Do Re Mi Fa So La Te, Griffin Gallery - London (UK)
2017 - Setting the Scene - Online Exhibition
2019 - Elephant Lab
GRANTS AND AWARDS