Melissa Patel

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Melissa Patel is a Toronto based artist working primarily in drawing, painting, and photography. She was born and raised in Canada and is of Portuguese and Indian descent. Her multicultural background has been a key influence in her work, which she uses to explore themes of family, identity, memory, heritage, and her relationship to nature and the environment. She sees her work as a way to interpret and understand the world around her by breaking down real world elements and recapturing them through artistic media. She studied at OCAD University and has a BFA in Drawing and Painting.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

My artwork largely explores concepts of escapism through the creation of dreamscapes and collective memory. The dreamscapes I create blur the lines between realistic representation and abstraction to create imagery that is both representative of the natural physical world and our emotional sense of the world. Collective memory is the memory of a group of people, passed down from one generation to the next. My own family’s collective memories are a diluted combination of thoughts, feelings, and events and are not an accurate account of reality, but rather a sentimental, idealized version of reality, which I find to be very fascinating. I take this already distorted account of reality and further reimagine it in my own mind, creating my own fabricated memory or story represented through art. I am interested in exploring the relationship between dreaming and memory and how both these things inform my view of the world. My goal is to create artwork that is fulfilling for myself and immersive and captivating for viewers.

$1,700.00 CAD

Oil paint on paper (set of 2 - framed).

28x17"

These paintings explore the idea of memory and sentimentality. In a world that changes swiftly all around us there is a tendency to hold onto something of the past to keep ourselves grounded and centered. But our nostalgia is deceptive, as memories also change. They morph with different events and fade with time, until they appear more like a foggy dream rather than a lived experience. With these paintings I try to depict a memory in motion. One that is changing as the result of external forces but hasn’t yet been completely lost.

Melissa Patel

$1,100.00 CAD

Oil on canvas.

16x40"

This painting was a fun exploration into seeing the world from a different perspective. It was created through a process of looking for small insignificant moments of beauty that exist all around us and capturing those moments through painting. This particular piece was inspired by a wedding centerpiece of blue orchids in a vase of water. I was intrigued by the way light bends colour and shape in water, and the way it transforms space and ordinary objects into something that appears like it came straight out of a dream.

The edges of this painting are painted pink.

Melissa Patel

$1,300.00 CAD

Oil paint on wood panel.

30x30"

With this painting I was exploring the concept of photogenic abstraction, which is the creation of abstract imagery based on photography. This painting was created through exploring the way camera angles can manipulate the interpretation of an object. This painting shows abstraction as a matter of perception, that if you take elements from real life, break them down and resemble them, you end up with an abstract image. But this image is not imaginary, it depicts a moment of abstraction that occurred naturally, and thus is still very much a representation of reality. This painting depicts antique dolls reflected through several different planes of glass and against a mirror.

This painting also has exposed wood edges.

Melissa Patel

$900.00 CAD

Oil paint on wood panel.

18x24"

With this painting I was exploring the concept of photogenic abstraction, which is the creation of abstract imagery based on photography. This painting was created through exploring the way camera angles can manipulate the interpretation of an object. This painting shows abstraction as a matter of perception, that if you take elements from real life, break them down and resemble them, you end up with an abstract image. But this image is not imaginary, it depicts a moment of abstraction that occurred naturally, and thus is still very much a representation of reality. This painting depicts the inside of an ornate glass candle holder after the candle wax had melted down.

This painting also has exposed wood edges.

Melissa Patel

$1,400.00 CAD

Oil on wood panel.

24x30"

This painting was created through layering photographic images of plant material and light reflections together. This allowed me to showcase the different colours and organic shapes that exist in the natural world in one image, blurring the lines between realistic representation and abstraction. The complexity of this blended image allows me, as the painter, to focus in on small details and shapes, and with time the process of painting becomes a form of meditation.

This painting has exposed wood edges.

Melissa Patel

$2,200.00 CAD

Oil on canvas.

48x48"

This painting explores the relationship between photography and painting in creating compositions that express an artist’s curiosity in the natural world. I collaged images together from my family’s photo album to create a composition that explored my curiosity in my cultural heritage. I used an image of myself as a child, surrounded by vague imagery that are suggestive to the landscapes and environments they depict. Utilizing portions of images in this way allowed me to express the fantastical nature of exploring one’s heritage and history, while also examining how tethers from the past continue on to the present.

This painting has painted edges.

Melissa Patel