Comic artist Matt Madden, a faculty member in the BFA Cartooning and BFA Illustration departments at SVA, recently received a prestigious Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres medal, one of France’s highest cultural honors. During a ceremony held at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York, Madden was bestowed the honor by French Cultural Counselor Antonin Baudry in front of a group of guests that included BFA Cartooning Department and BFA Illustration Department Chair Thomas Woodruff, as well as faculty members Jason Little, Nick Bertozzi and Jessica Abel (Madden’s wife).
“I’m incredibly honored to receive this recognition,” Madden told SVA Close Up. “I try to maintain an international outlook in my life and in my work, so as a cartoonist with an interest in film and experimental literature, France is a major nexus of my life. I was particularly pleased that Antonin Baudry cited my work in education as part of my contribution as I consider teaching—especially at SVA—a pillar of my life as an artist.”
The Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres recognizes significant contributions to the arts and literature. Past Chevalier honorees include T.S. Eliot, David Bowie, Nan Goldin, Ray Bradbury and Richard Serra. Madden is one of just a few American cartoonists to ever receive the honor.