Beyond the Bio: Chris Madsen

Beyond the Bio is a series that takes you past the canvas and into the minds of the artists and curators who build the contemporary arts community.

Photographer Chris Madsen will be featured at Art City Austin: Art Alliance Austin’s 3-day art fair from March 31st – April 2nd at the Palmer Events Center.

Artist: Chris Madsen, Salt Lake City

Primary medium: Photography

Why do you make art?

For me the ability to portray how I feel during the process as well as let someone feel emotions when they view my work is the most rewarding. Art should make you feel. Having someone talk to me about what my work means to them, seeing someone get something out of my art is an amazing feeling.

Why photography?

I started as a graphic designer and realized the power of an image while in school for design. I was able to work with lots of images and create something new, then started taking my own images to have more control and to try and bring my vision to life.

How long have you been an artist and how has your practice changed over time?

I started about 7 years ago. I was so moved by it after a couple of years I left my partnership in a small business, sold my house, and started the journey to becoming a full time artist. Over the years my work has changed a lot, I am constantly pushing myself to create something new, experiment, and improve.

What are you working on right now?

Lately I have been experimenting with traditional printing methods like cyanotype and kallitype and using a digital negative that I create to print. It is a great combination of traditional printing methods and digital photography. Last year I started creating photo wax encaustics, and I am sure next year it will be something new again.

Why make the journey to Austin?

I live in Salt Lake City, Utah but love to travel to festivals all over the country. The opportunity to meet new people, see new sites, and experience the country is an amazing freedom. Austin is a great city full of vibrant art and culture, I love making to Austin.

I am a published and gallery displayed artist and travel across the United States participating in art festivals.  The most important thing to me is my vision.

I fell in love with visual imagery while working as a graphic designer. Wanting to understand what makes a good image. What went into creating the work that pulled at my heartstrings.  I would describe my work as emotionally cinematic. I shoot mostly strong emotional pieces that may even be a bit dark or macabre but still feminine and beautiful. I like my work to let the viewer experience the emotion and let their imagination tell a story. This is what I do, this is how I feel, this is who I am.

I create using digital, film ,wet plate collodion, and formats such as cyanotypes and van dyke browns and wax encaustics. I am constantly trying to evolve my art to evoke my feelings into an image that will match the vision in my head. Art is ever evolving and a beautiful challenge.

Keep up with Chris on his website, Facebook and Instagram.

Beyond the Bio is curated by Art Alliance Austin, with the assistance of Scott Nyerges.