Madison Rubenstein is one of nine inaugural winners of the Midwest Award for Artists with Disabilities. This award, designed to support accessibility in the arts and celebrate the exceptional work of disabled Midwestern visual artists, has received an incredible response from the artistic community. Over 200 artists applied to receive funds, and a panel of seven reviewers narrowed the pool to nine finalists from across the Midwest.
“I am a visual artist working in traditional media such as oil paint, graphite, watercolor, acrylic and collage. I explore themes of trauma, mental illness, and chronic pain and how these all shape our relationship to our bodies. My paintings depict figurative images and abstractions of the human form. In my past work I have explored themes of powerlessness and chronic illness by painting abstract bodies bound and tied by rope in transitory spaces. The rope constricts and strangles the bodily masses, leaving some sections of rope slack and loose. This conversation between contraction and expansion, tension and softness, and control and surrender in relationship to the body influences all of my work.”