Melissa Forman/ Melissa Forman

United States

Painting

www.melissaformanstudio.com

Melissa Forman
Melissa Forman
Female
United States
-0001

Melissa Forman started drawing when she was just a child. Her interest in art grew rapidly, so did her skills, and by the time she was fourteen years old she started painting commissioned portraits. She found her theme when she was young, but the need to dig deeper through the surface of the portrait came later. What can be spotted on her portraits are not facial features or the coordinated background. It is the human emotion and state of mind that she expresses in the eyes, lips and faces of her models. How they feel and what is on their mind is the subject of her work. And historically, they could have lived in a period from 18th to 21st century, because the artist gives a little extra luxury and sophistication to her paintings that were characteristic for that time.

Melissa Forman - She Who Flies With Cranes (left), She Who Embodies the Deers Peaceful Nature (right)
Melissa Forman – She Who Flies With Cranes (left), She Who Embodies the Deers Peaceful Nature (right)

Communication through Painting

Forman was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She studied at Columbus College of Art and Design where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2002. When she was young she used to spend her free time outdoors. Being surrounded by nature, woods and meadows, inspired her to start making art. The desire to create beautiful things helped her to communicate better with her surroundings. As a child, she was inspired by popular cartoons. As she was growing up her style evolved and became more serious, and darker. There are influences of fashion photography, pop art, gothic illustration, and renaissance art. The portraits that she paints are elegant, detailed and subjected to color manipulation in order to give a more mysterious look.

Forman’s portraits are elegant and detailed

Melissa Forman - She Who Saws the Seeds of Life (left), Detail (right)
Melissa Forman – She Who Saws the Seeds of Life (left), Detail (right)

Traditional Look with a Twist

Mellisa Forman paints her ladies using photographs from her personal collection or from other accessible sources. The women from She Who series are given a traditional look with a twist of dark and mysterious. Under the veil of puzzling expressions hides the original emotion, that gives the viewer a universal possibility of identifying. No matter who is in the picture, that enigmatic person feels the same pain, or joy, or confusion as we all do. The sophisticated and opulent, sometimes even lush look, just gives the portrait a dose of class, that on the other hand, gives the viewer a sense of certainty. Forman uses lighting and shading to make her work a tad more perplexing.

Forman uses lighting and shading to make her work a tad more perplexing

Melissa Forman - She Who Protects the Gentle Rabbit (left), She Who Heals the Fallen (right)
Melissa Forman – She Who Protects the Gentle Rabbit (left), She Who Heals the Fallen (right)

Isolation Leads to Revelation

The artist finds inspiration from all sorts of external sources. Sometimes the idea for a portrait comes from internet browsing, or while reading a good book. Other times, the inspiration is internal. There is a need to resolve an emotional struggle, or to feel the totality of an emotion in a high intensity. That is when the true drive leads the process. She takes photos of the models, photoshops them by working on light and background, and uses them as a visual reference. After the graphic model of the portrait is done, she paints with oil on canvas and works her magic. Her subjects are isolated from their original time and place, so they could show their soul completely revealed, without being distracted by familiarity.

The artist is represented by Corey Helford Gallery.

Melissa Forman lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio.

All images used for illustrative purpose only © Melissa Forman

Featured image: Melisa Forman – Portrait of the Artist, courtesy of Corey Helford Gallery

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015FREAKS AND AMERICANA - An Exploration of Big Top CultureCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2014Corey Helford Gallery Presents: The 2nd Annual Art Collector Starter KitCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2012MOTION GROUP EXHIBIT: The Art Of MovementCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2011Corey Helford Gallery: SCOPE Miami 2011SCOPE, MiamiGroup
2010ART FROM THE NEW WORLD, Bristol, EnglandCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2010Keeper of CreationCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesSolo
2009A Change of SkinCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2009Garden of ShadowsCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesSolo
2009VAN ARNO & MELISSA FORMANCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesDuo
2009Lush LifeROQ La Rue Gallery, SeatleGroup
2008FOURCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2008FOUR GROUP SHOWCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2008Young BloodOpera House, New YorkGroup
2007LITERARTISTRYCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2007LiterartistryCorey Helford Gallery, Los AngelesGroup