Monday, November 14, 2011

Melissa Mastrangelo

Melissa Mastrangelo’s work should hit those from Providence close to home. This self-taught artist and former veterinary technician relocated from Florida back to her home state of RI to capture the industrial landscapes of Providence. According to Mastrangelo, “The piece, ‘Over the Tracks’ is a depiction of the tops of the graffiti-tagged industrial mills found in the Harris Avenue section of Olneyville and the ‘Providence Steel and Iron’ piece, with it's rusty steel gantries and cranes, are from the steel yard on Sims Ave."

"Over the Tracks"

"Providence Steel & Iron"

She goes on to say, “In both of these instances I looked up and knew immediately that I had to paint these structures. As with most of my subjects, they tend to pick me rather than the reverse. My process usually begins with walks through Providence, once a structure or landscape grabs me, I often begin with an on-site sketch and photograph. If the location is suitable I often paint a small study of the subject and use a photograph as reference in my studio for the final rendering. I am repeatedly drawn to and inspired by the grittier urban setting rather than the more typical glossy city scenes. Aside from my love and interest in rusty, decayed structures, that at one time were highly functional and useful to our well-being, I am also drawn to the cities abandoned locations because they tend to be inhabited by underground subcultures. Whether it's the graffiti writers, grass-roots organizations, or aspiring artists and musicians, there is a creative energy in these areas that feeds off itself. It excites me to challenge the viewers perception of what is worthy of putting down on canvas. The quiet structures that appear in my paintings often evoke a feeling of familiarity which draws the viewer in and forces them to take a second look at an otherwise over-looked or ignored structure. Most of my works are created using graphite, acrylic paint, spray paint, and occasionally ink.”

Mastrangelo describes her work and process so eloquently, there isn’t much left to say, other than that she has work on display at our Providence location. Please come by and take a look at these pieces by a talented and driven local artist.

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