Brooklyn-based, Michigan-raised artist Gary Mellon crafts wood sculptures that are conceived first in his sketchbook. Mellon adds pops of color with acrylic paint, though in much of his work, the natural poplar tones dominate the figures, faces, and totems constructed by the artist. Mellon’s ornate busts seem to blend notes from art history, from Roman influences to contemporary, pop style.
In a statement, Mellon comments on “It’s not just the journey inward that’s important but also that I unearth and retrieve the contents with my own hands,” Mellon says. “The point of making art to me is that I get to experience the act of birthing it. It’s a consciousness altering activity.”
The artist’s “Self Portrait With Bird,” a detailed piece that’s four feet tall from top to bottom, embodies the artist’s strengths. Through the several components of the piece, he frames the depiction of himself in wide-ranging styles. Yet, there’s a cohesiveness to the self-portrait that continues to absorb once accessed. From the the disparate fins to the serpent-like outerlayer, the artist’s talents in emulating multiple textures is on display.