“Aging and its evidence remain life's most predictable events, yet they also remain matters we prefer to leave unmentioned, unexplored.” — Joan Didion, Blue Nights, 2011
“Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man. L-I-V-I-N.” — David Wooderson, Dazed and Confused, 1993
We’re often reminded that there’s a first time for everything, but what the cliché fails to mention is that most first-times are followed by a second, then a third, ad nauseam. A first step, a first kiss, a first love is worthy of applause, the second not so much, and no one’s going to pat you on the back for your 100th, your 1,000th. The more years pass, the more difficult it is to find firsts worth pursuing, and they become increasingly laborious to obtain. We find comfort in the repetition of firsts past, we grow experienced, and the novel becomes banal. Then, if life dictates it, we procreate, and the journey develops into the enablement of a child’s firsts, seconds, and so forth.
Scattered Daydream, Larry Madrigal’s first step with Nicodim, is a celebration of the matters we prefer to leave unmentioned, unexplored, after the new-car smell wears off. Each canvas and panel is a suspension of these overlooked moments, revealing how unique, how anarchic these everyday occurrences truly are. Madrigal’s loose, confident brushwork subverts the precariousness of each moment captured. A stolen instance of intimacy between young parents teeters on the edge of chaos with the flick of a light switch. A trip to the clothing store becomes a crisis of identity. A pair of filthy feet await the end of a morning prayer—the divine circles down the drain of this mortal coil. Madrigal is his own muse, but his compositions are all of us in our collective struggle to keep L-I-V-I-N.
Larry Madrigal (b. 1986, Los Angeles) lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona. Madrigal recently completed his MFA at Arizona State University in Tempe. His work has been featured in When You Waked Up the Buffalo, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (2020); Painting the Figure Now II, Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, Wasau, Wisconsin (2019); New Art Arizona, Shemer Art Center and Museum, Phoenix, Arizona (2019); and Body Language: Figuration in Modern and Contemporary Art, curated by Julie Sasse, Tuscon Museum of Art, Tuscon, Arizona (2017). Madrigal is a finalist for the 2020 AXA XL Art Prize. Scattered Daydream is his first exhibition with Nicodim.