About the Artist


From the moment you meet him, thom madro, with his long flowing mane of hair, gregarious personality, and charming sense of humor – commands your attention. And as so often the saying goes, “art imitates life”—so his paintings also draw the eye and capture the mind.  They are an open invitation to come in, take off your coat, lose the shoes, and explore the unconventional cacophony of creation that is –thomadro.


An interview with thom madro is nothing short of an Oscar worthy cinema feature. As this animated artist blows through the entryway of the local coffee shop where we are set to meet, I can practically see the stage directions written out in my mind: (A busy atmosphere abuzz…the writer silently sits and waits.  Cue madro…doors flung wide, the café’s clatter grinds to a halt and the patron-riddled line parts much like one imagines the waves of the Red Sea before Moses…).  This man definitely knows how to make an entrance.


He eases himself into a chair, armed with a thoughtful coffee for both him and me, and I am struck with the sheer magnanimity that madro possesses.  I now realize that every time I look at his art, it’s his actual essence that I have been seeing.  There’s just that slightly-to-the-left sense of silliness and strong-willed self-assurance that madro possesses and that draws your attention—guaranteeing a vivid and memorable experience, or at least one helluva time. Cue the interview….


Born in Cincinnati, madro’s father was a football coach for the University of Cincinnati and a brilliant mastermind of the game. He always instilled in thom that his success stemmed directly from his love for the game, love for the athletes, and love for the experience of the game itself itself.  His father ate, slept and breathed football.  thom watched this unwavering passion in his father and sought to cultivate this same passion in art. As thom describes in detail the drive and determination of his father, his blue eyes twinkle with a twinge of respectful nostalgia.


“Do what it takes son – always show up daily and be willing to do whatever it is you have to do to make the day successful” is the motto thom recalls his father advising.  Thom enthusiastically takes these words to heart.  His father, with all of his passion, skill and drive had a great coaching career and thom believed that the key to reaching the success he strove for with his art, would be to take the passion and work ethic his father so deeply valued and give it proactive motion.


From the time he was a toddler thom showed a God-given gift for art.   He has a framed piece of art that he did at the age of 18 Months of age that hangs in his studio.  He views it almost daily and says, “I wonder what was going on in my head at the time – I mean literally I was a baby”.  He strives to recapture the pure innocence of color and form in the piece.   At the tender age of four, having moved with his family to Sherman Oaks, California, thom showed that he possessed a precision and artistic aptitude that baffled all who viewed him. One chance encounter where his parents were encouraged to pursue art lessons for their child by then neighbor Joe Barbera set thom on his life’s journey – the pursuit of art and his own identity through it.  “It is kinda funny how imperfect, random events often come together to set a path so perfectly for an individual” says madro.


These lessons, followed by unending practice and the passionate pursuit of all things aesthetic, paved the way for madro’s road to success. Another example of his type of determination was that while living in San Diego (at the ripe old age of 12), madro set off on his own walking two miles to the bus stop for a 20 mile trip to a downtown music store where he bought a guitar and proceeded to teach himself how to play. But not only did he learn to play…he played well…earning the opportunity to go on tour at just 15 years old.  madro explains, “i really was one of those kids that played until my fingers bled”.   Self-made success and sheer determination is what drove him, and all the time, art was the golden thread that glided alongside tying his life together.


He went on to receive his BFA in painting and printmaking at San Diego State University in 1974 and became the first undergraduate in the history of the school to have a sponsored one-man show.  The show was reviewed well and madro’s art was gaining momentum and beginning to sell.  A welcome blessing after several lean college years.  I sense a bit of humble pride as thom remembers his days as a “starving artist”, frequenting the nightly rotation of church sponsored 25 cent meals at the University Campus while living in his van.


From this initial show success began to spring up, yet it came saddled with a dark side.  Drugs and drinking devoured the heart of the art and after a decade of the party thom hit rock bottom.  While he moved to Maui in hopes of a new beginning or at least a merciful end, madro was by embraced the healing aloha of the islands—getting his health back and relocating God in the process.


Forging his way from a worker in a picture framing shop all the way to his present position as the owner of several fine art galleries (from Las Vegas to Oahu to Asia), madro never gave up on his passion. And when asked how he would describe his distinct style, madro explains it this way: “i was taught in a very specific style of art – i was formally trained as an old-world realist”, the Renaissance artists and their style ruled his realm.  He took the natural progression of this realism into the photo-realist genre.  He found this style boring and limited and began doing Everything backward and opposite of all he had learned.  He began with abstract backgrounds and infused a vibrant palette into his designs.  “i would pour paint – throw paint and mix many random mediums, some not exactly meant for art, into my work” recalls thom.  He searched the canvas for his subject matter and threw out color theory as he knew it.  The resulting “Vibrant Expressions” collection became his signature.  From Renaissance to Rebel, madro freed himself and his work from all formality.


Throwing paint, working backwards, and allowing the subject legs of its own, madro invites the essence of the art to jump out from the canvas and create itself. This is how he sees the subject.  There is a method to the madness (or MadroNess, so to speak) that makes sense when seen through the eyes of passion unleashed – representational art in its most free form. His newest concept is an inventive style which he has named the “IlluminArti Collection” is perhaps his most perfect picture of this mentality to date.  These epoxy-enveloped pieces literally glow with photo-luminescence and invite all who gaze on their multi-layered montages to see beyond.  thom says, “I may have found my end game, I believe that the illuminArti series is unlimited in its creative scope for the future and the Vibrant Expression collection fulfills my need for a link to my past.”


Thom Madro currently splits his time between the North Shore of Oahu and Las Vegas with his wife and two daughters. Here you will find him painting passion, pleasure, pain – and all else that life encompasses. A personification of a real-life Peter Pan….madro inhabits a Neverland nourished by newness…a new way of looking at things, a new spin on the subject, and a new, refreshing breath of artistry in the islands and the world.  When asked, madro simply says that he “wants to live out his days painting until his last breath” each stroke sustaining his spirit.


madro only paints Original work and numbered limited editions are not available.  This, of course, makes his work very exclusive and is available at his art galleries in Las Vegas, Haleiwa, Hawai’i and his newest venture – thomadroArt.asia – a beautiful venue in the Mayor Liao Storyland Building at the entrance to Sun Moon Lake Resort in Nan-Tou, Taiwan (Republic of China).  Be sure to visit when you are traveling to these exciting destinations.








和湯馬佐的訪談可比一部奧斯卡劇情片。當這個活潑的藝術家一陣風般穿過我們相約的咖啡店入口時,我腦海裡出現劇本的舞台指示:(忙碌熱鬧的氣氛,作家靜靜坐著等待。Cue 馬佐。大門被推開、咖啡店喧鬧聲突然停止,人群像紅海般分開…。)這個人絕對知道怎麼登場。
















從裱框店的店員一路努力到擁有數家藝廊(從拉斯維加斯、夏威夷歐胡島、到亞洲),湯馬佐從未放棄他的熱誠。被問到他會怎麼形容自己的特有風格時,湯馬佐這樣解釋:「我學的是非常特定的形式──寫實主義的正式訓練。」文藝復興藝術家和他們的風格統領他的領域,從那裡,他很自然的發展進入照相寫實(photo-realism)流派。他覺得這種風格很無聊而且受限,於是開始反其道而行,把所學的一切都倒過來。從抽象背景開始,然後在他的設計中加入鮮明的色彩:「我會把顏料倒進畫裡──用丟的、隨機混進不同的媒體,有些根本不是拿來畫畫用的。」他在畫布上尋找主題,把過去所學的色彩理論全部扔開。這樣形成的「鮮明表現」(Vibrant Expressions)系列成了他的標誌。從文藝復興到叛逆,湯馬佐從拘泥的形式中解放了自己與畫作。


丟顏料、反向進行、讓主題自己發展生成,湯馬佐邀請美術的精隨跳出畫布、自己創造自己。這是他看待主題的方式。看似瘋狂,但從熱情不羈的眼光來看卻自有其道(可稱為馬佐風MadroNess)──具象派最自由的型態。他最新的概念,一種被他稱為「光藝」(IlluminArty )的創新風格,可能是馬佐風目前為止的最佳代表。這些被樹脂膠包覆的作品會真的發出光,邀請觀看他們多層次拼貼的觀眾一起超脫表面。湯說:「我也許找到我的究極階段了,我相信光藝系列是朝向未來的創作領域,而鮮明表現系列則滿足了我與過去連結的需要。」