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Melissa Chandon Biography
I consider myself to be an abstract realist painter. My work could be best described as “Americana meets Pop Art”. In an essay by Peter London, appropriately titled, When Less is More: The Art of Melissa Chandon, I believe he describes my work accurately. “What can we say is Chandon’s primary project as an artist? She describes it somewhat like this. To create a body of art work that invites us to consider the nobility that lurks just beneath the surface of common things; noble because these same things are nothing less than incarnations of the American dream.”
I have found my own voice through a process of analysis and reduction. I look to a number of 20th Century painters, drawing inspiration from their imagery – the directness of David Hockney’s work of the 70’s, the romance of Edward Hopper, Wayne Thiebaud’s delight with color and surface, and the intriguing abstraction of Richard Deibenkorn.
Born as a child of the 50’s, road trips were my parents’ passion. They saw the American landscape as a means of educating their 5 children – exposing us to the humanity of highways, small towns, truck stops, and KOA Kampgrounds all across the US. To this day, I find roadside culture fascinating – motels, amusements, neon signs – and I feel it is important to document this era of U.S. history before it disappears.
I’ve gathered my vision of Americana from across the country – from my early years in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to working on the family ranch in the Sacramento Valley, and onto urban life in hope that sharing my view of the American landscape may help to bring about a conscious effort to preserve the shared heritage of our recent past.