We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathe Madrigal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathe, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued an artistic career eventually because it fits better to my personality. After receiving a BFA, I studied interior design because I thought I was being “practical”. My father always worried I wouldn’t make a living being a fine artist. Into my 2nd year of design study, my father convinced me to go into his business with the idea that I would take on his legacy and have a good income for myself and my family. I have a really good head for numbers and contracts,and I was good at my job but,after giving it a solid 4 years, I knew my heart was elsewhere. I was always painting or accepting mural work on the side. I broke the news to him and never looked back.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Getting to where I am today has not been easy. And, I still have higher goals so, it’s an ongoing pursuit. Having started back in the 90’s in the faux finishing world, I gained a great knowledge of sales, contracts and communication skills. After a year into it, I began doing murals which led to large scale murals for commercial buildings. The largest murals covered roughly 4-5 thousand square feet. Being young at the time, made it easier dealing with boom lifts, hot sun and physical exertion. I am proud of these murals because I encourage and support public art. Having this background sets me apart from other artists. I can and have painted in many styles. So, although my work now is personal, I can. and sometimes do, entertain commissions if the client is qualified. My personal work has always been about emotions. It’s about my experience as a woman, as a wife and mother. It’s about my wonder of how the world will affect my children’s lives, and their children. It’s about technology, and biology and progress. It’s a never ending well of inspiration and each series lends a voice to something in particular.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
So, I grew up in Los Angeles on the Westside. And, I’m in my 50’s- So, this itinerary would be for that age group. (And let’s say COVID wasn’t a factor) My guest would arrive in Los Angeles and I would take them to dinner along the beach during sunset. Somewhere in Santa Monica like Lowes Hotel, Gladstones, in Topanga, or up the coast in Malibu. The next day we would visit Venice Beach for the entertainment, shop along Abbot Kinney and stroll around the canals. For lunch, we would go to La Scala or Nate n’ Als, in Beverly Hills and shop. Next stop LACMA. After, the compulsory Melrose, Robertson and Hollywood Boulevard. We finish the day with dinner at The Catch, Musso Frank or Chateau Marmonte. Late night would be spent at the Comedy Club or The Groundlings. Or taking in some Jazz/ Blues. Day 3 is a morning hike up Runion canyon. We would cruise around Los Feliz and Silverlake before we head downtown to the MOCA and The Broad. Lunch is served at Grand Central Market then hit a few of the DTLA galleries, GDCA and the Hive being polar opposites, but neighbors. Then we’d head to the Arts District in DTLA. and perhaps Olvera Street, for some tchotchkes. Before the trip ends and for a proper send off, I would insist on drinks at either the Bel Air Hotel, or the Polo Lounge with a grand tour of the estates of Bel-Air.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I credit my decision to leave a lucrative office job to pursue painting based on something a college professor said to me. Ciel Bergman, (painter) back in 1990 or there about, told me ” no matter what you pursue, you will always, always come back to art”. Now that I am around her age when she parted that advise to me, when I am asked by a student, I reiterate the same lesson. You must follow your heart and then give it all you’ve got because if you don’t, it will find it’s way back to you eventually. As far as support, I give credit to my family and then of course, my galleries and art reps; Gloria Delson Contemporary Art Gallery, Artdimensionsonline.com, Sourceart.com, SaatchiArt and Berman Arts Agency.
Photo cred. Kathe Madrigal in studio, Laguna Beach, CA