Books in the MCL: Claudia Walde & Luisa Heese. MadC: Street to Canvas. 2022

MadC: Street to Canvas” is a captivating monograph that delves into the career of Claudia Walde, known as MadC, a prolific artist and muralist. Born in 1980, MadC embarked on her artistic journey in the 1990s as a graffiti artist in Bautzen, Germany, eventually transcending local scenes to create large-scale public murals in over 35 countries worldwide. Over time, her murals and canvases have garnered immense acclaim, blurring the boundaries between street art and fine art with their abstract compositions of sweeping lines and transparent layers of vibrant colors.

The book comprehensively explores MadC’s artistic evolution, from her early graffiti days to her recent works. It serves as a monograph showcasing her diverse body of work, featuring both canvas pieces and large-scale murals situated in various locations around the globe, including London, Copenhagen, the Maldives, and Abu Dhabi. With over 200 artworks and personal photographs, the book illustrates MadC’s use of color and movement captured through spray cans and brushstrokes. Readers gain insight into the artist’s resilience and whole-hearted dedication, which propelled her work into galleries, private collections, and institutions.

In addition to rich color plates, the book skillfully weaves biographical details and aesthetic descriptions throughout the narrative, offering dense and colorful prose that delves deeper into MadC’s artistic tenacity and devotion. This approach effectively grounds MadC’s artistic practice within the cultural context of graffiti. Readers trace her journey from an apprentice to a master of graffiti styles and idioms, witnessing the evolution of her techniques, methods, and visual language. The book showcases the artist’s creative process, revealing how her work evolves from deconstructed forms to balanced compositions that exude a sense of freedom and energy.

A notable highlight within the book is the 700 Wall painted by MadC in Peissen, Germany, in 2010. This monumental artwork serves as an aerosol autobiography, showcasing her growth as an artist within the secretive graffiti subculture. Through a dramatic rendering of her inner life, the 700 Wall becomes a captivating projection of dreams, nightmares, and personal aspirations. The narrative surrounding this graffiti masterpiece provides a fascinating glimpse into the codes and culture that shaped MadC’s artistic identity.

“MadC: Street to Canvas” is a visual pleasure for art enthusiasts and a testament to the power of art as a universal language that connects and inspires. Claudia Walde’s journey from graffiti writer to renowned muralist is meticulously chronicled in this monograph, cementing her status as a sought-after artist whose work seamlessly crosses from the streets to the gallery.

Text Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo Fotos Sebastian Kläbsch