Nena Madalena’s Joy Transmissions


Images courtesy of Ed. Varie, New York

Nena Madalena’s paintings are joy transmissions. When our bodies stop working, are we as free as this? Colourful, patient brushstrokes and meticulous patterns depict the things the artist holds close to her heart: family, children, flora and fauna.

Nena Madalena was born in 1948, in São José dos Campos, Brazil. After losing her parents at the age of seven, Madalena became the caretaker of her three brothers. She grew up working as a housekeeper, and had no time for school or art. Later, she moved away and had three children with her husband José. In 2008, Madalena suffered two strokes that took away her speech and impaired her body. Encouraged by her grandson Marcus Vinícius Enivo, Madalena began to paint as a new form of expression. Painting became a tool for communication, and for healing. At age 64, Madelena participated in her first exhibition, and by 2018, her first solo show opened in New York at Ed. Varie Gallery. Madalena’s paintings are remarkably hopeful, vessels for benevolence and a simpler life.