Mario Madiai was born in Siena in 1944 and studied at the "Art Institute" of Lucca. While still young, he moved to the coastal city of Livorno, where his precocious talent was promptly recognized by critics, collectors and experts alike. Since the early 1970's, Madiai has enjoyed wide success, and his works have been displayed throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Paintings of Madiai have recently been entered in the permanent collection at the "Museum of Modern Art Mario Grimoldi" and museum "Museo d'Arte dello Splendore". Madiai is among the most recognized and critically acclaimed names of contemporary Italian art, and is considered the last legitimate heir of the elegant and semiabstract art trend "Macchiaioli" indigenous to the city of Livorno.
The continuous and obsessive search of new subjects and methods of expression have been Madiai's signature throughout his career. Recurring subjects have dominated his output and may be divided into mono-thematic cycles, such as: "Interiors", "landscapes", "gardens", "tables remembered", and more recently, "The flowers the leaves and the water", "sunflowers", and the "roses".
The same subject, portrayed dozens of times, transformed into real characters, the protagonists of an unexpectedly complex story, are projected like shadows onto varicolored backgrounds. At times distant, their diffused color surfaces from a center point to the scene of light, at other times the shadows advance, partially concealing the image and concentrating it into a vision of ambiguity.
An important and fundamental aspect of Madiai's work is the technique of creating the background, which he has developed as part of his never satisfied, relentless strive for perfection. After having delineated the details of the painting, Madiai covers everything with a layer of paint, allowing it to drip or to absorb onto the canvas, as his instinctive artistic desire dictates him. As a result, real subjects that may otherwise seem mundane are reinterpreted and filtered by magic atmospheres.
More recently, Mario moved to a spectacular cottage in the enchanting Pisa countryside, where he dedicates his time between his passion of painting, and his new love, making wine. The wine is called "Malacoda", a pure merlot of distinct ruby color, and of complex and refined bouquet. Mario Madiai is the first artist vintner to hand-paint each label, creating a unique object with each bottle.
The passage of time is a central theme that runs through all of Mario Madiai's painting. In the ghost images of submerged roses, in the childhood objects spread on a tabletop, in the blossoms of the lemon tree in spring, or in the silvery background of the same tree in winter, the awareness of time passing is implicit. His images serve as metaphors that remind us of the significance of time and the importance of its invisible work. His painting can be seen as a perception of an image present in the continuous flux of time, as if vision were being transformed into contemplation, or a drama; and this is the drama of life itself.