Melissa Del Pinto (B 1979, Montreal, Canada) is a fine-arts painter and muralist best known for her dramatic, large-scale paintings and murals of single-themed, photorealistic birds that take centre stage against a solid-color background. Each oil painting holds a surprising complexity of color, dramatic brushwork, detail and texture, often made contemporary by the skilled use of aerosol paints.
Her background is in Illustration and Design (Dawson College, Montreal, 2001). She further developed her skills in Florence, Italy. She returned to Montreal and spent time in the fashion industry.
Del Pinto is a well-commissioned artist. Her work can be found in corporate, public and private collections. Prestigious establishments such as The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (La Petite du Musée) and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (La Delivrance de L’Aiglon) have commissioned Del Pinto’s works. Del Pinto has also completed murals for organizations such as Starbucks, Shopify, Mad Radish, Kiehl’s, Jansport, Cote Nord Tremblant, Jansport, MU and others.
Del Pinto is listed in the Government of Canada, Canadian Heritage Database of Canadian Artists. A dossier of her work is available at The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Library and Archives, Canadian Artists Documentation Collection for use by curators, researchers and the public.
Her work has been highlighted in major newspapers and magazines such as Le Devoir, The Montreal Gazette, Le Journal de Montreal, La revue d’art du Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal, Decovér Magazine, Sofadéco, CULT Montreal, Atmosphere Air Transat Magazine… and in numerous online blogs such as – tourism montréal, damasketdentelle and Brazil’s janeladarua.
In 2015, a video interview (Click on the Photo) was conducted with Del Pinto by the art team at La Maison Simons. It was supported by a number of great people: Producer Isabella Gennaro (CURIOUS Montréal), Director Maxime Aubert, Director of Photography Guillaume Shea-Blais and others.
Art reviewers such as Sylvie Laberge (Arts and Design Editor at Montreal’s SofaDéco Magazine); DÉCOVER Magazine (Montreal’s leading visual-arts magazine); Céline Escouteloup (Montreal author, poet and arts journalist); Vanessa Sicotte (leading Montreal interior decorator, blogger and TV host); and Lisa Sproull (Arts and Culture Editor at Cult Montreal, English-language art, culture and life website & monthly print publication) have noted the large-scale nature of Del Pinto’s photorealistic paintings of birds and that, while oil paint is the dominant medium, the addition of aerosol paint adds innovation, spontaneity and contemporariness to her works.
Kirsten McCrea (Toronto artist and founder of Papirmass); DÉCOVER Magazine and other reviewers have also highlighted Del Pinto’s sculptured, custom frames that use found objects from our childhood past. Toy soldiers and dinosaurs, seashells souvenirs from vacations by the sea, and silk flowers from the interior gardens of our grandmothers are all juxtaposed nostalgically with the birds that they surround.
Reviewers have also pointed out that Del Pinto’s birds are a single theme, taking centre stage against a solid, opaque-coloured background. The bird is often still, as if suspended in mid-air. For Del Pinto, birds symbolize the fleetingness of time.
For example, Del Pinto’s oil on canvas Scarlet-Headed Blackbird (36X48) depicts a strikingly beautiful songbird, found in the marshes of northeastern Argentina and Paraguay. Del Pinto has said that the stillness of her birds also emphasizes self-awareness, that is meant to inspire reflection in its juxtaposition to the frenetic reality of our modern life.
While we see influences from naturalists, wildlife artists, botanical illustrators or ornithologists in her work, Del Pinto’s contemporary paintings of birds exhibit delicate nuances of color, dramatic brushwork, detail and texture and the use of aerosol paints. Pictured on the right is The Crow, completed for the 2015 Montreal Mural Festival. It has been photographed and cited in numerous press articles, blogs and travelogues including Tripadvisor.
DelPinto’s mural Hommage à Norval Morrisseau was commissioned by MU, whose mandate is to transform Montreal’s public spaces by creating murals that are rooted in local communities. The subjects of his art were the myths and traditions of the Anishnaabe indigenous people. He is acknowledged to have initiated the Woodland School of Native Art, where images similar to the petroglyphs of the Great Lakes region were now captured in paintings and prints. He was a prominent member of the “Indian Group of Seven”. His works are held in the Museum of Fine Arts’ permanent collection.
Del Pinto’s work incorporates sacred geometry, those primordial, geometric shapes and patterns that are repeated throughout nature and used to create aesthetics and visual harmony in all branches of the design arts as well as in architecture. Del Pinto is making visible what our subliminal, subconscious soul could always see but our eye could not.
On the right is Del Pinto’s The Merkaba in Flight, an oil and metallic on canvas work that depicts a Black-Capped Chickadee captured in flight while reflecting the Merkaba symbol.
Del Pinto also applies sacred geometry equally to her landscape paintings. Pictured on the right is Del Pinto’s painting The Refuge. It depicts a calming, wide-open seascape superimposed with the alchemical symbol for air, an upward-pointing triangle, bisected by a horizontal line.Of theOf
Melissa’s work is exhibited at Montreal’s “Romeo’s Museum, Canada’s first Urban art Museum”. The museum hosts Melissa’s GENIÈVRE EN VOL (pictured below). Of the mural, Melissa said, “My intention in choosing this particular bird is for the viewer to feel as fearless as he is known to be. The Magpie, represents someone who will often be on the front lines of any endeavour or task. They are go-getters and often fearless in the face of adversity.”
In October 2019, Melissa was chosen to be part of a collection of commissioned works called “Montreal’s great artists”, which which highlights contributions to the cultural scene of artists who are native to the city or who made it home.
The MU, a charitable organization with a mission to beautify the city by creating mural art anchored in local communities asked her to complete a mural highlighting the architectural drawings of Heritage Montreal policy director Dinu Bumbaru as an homage to visionary architect Phyllis Lambert, founder of Heritage Montreal (1975) and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. The mural was unveiled at the corner of Jeanne-Mance and Milton in Milton Park, the heart of the historic district (Oct. 8, 2019).
Del Pinto has said, “ Life is hard and, at times, messy and complicated… I am notorious for never stopping and always pushing through it all without taking a minute for myself – We could all use a little reminder to STOP a second and take a good deep breath. Personal stillness is all about taking the time to deal with your own thoughts, emotions and awareness. It’s a refuge; a place of peace. The return home from there refocuses us on the colourful and inspiring blessings in our lives.”
“Watch Melissa’s birds. They will take off….They will quickly reach dizzying heights, carrying on their wings this freedom-loving young artist.” Sylvie Laberge for Sofadeco Magazine, a Montreal Magazine that focuses on art, culture, architecture and design.
“In her series, based on the theme of WANDERLUST, Del Pinto makes us travel in the quiet depth of space that feels like the present, but is tinged with nostalgia. Oil painting is the dominant medium of Del Pinto, but the impulsive addition of aerosol adds spontaneity and a contemporary touch to traditional painting. For Del Pinto, birds symbolize the fleetingness of time. Her frames are meticulously carved pieces of the past: toy soldiers and dinosaurs, seashells, souvenirs of our travels by the ocean, and silk flowers from the interior gardens of our grandmothers are all juxtaposed with the birds they surround.” DÉCOVER Magazine is Montreal’s leading visual-arts magazine. Del Pinto’s painting was featured on the cover of DÉCOVER Magazine #12 (special edition).
“Melissa Del Pinto offers a unique work, tinged with romance and nostalgia but also completely new – a breath of simplicity and certainly touching. Her large birds are … amazing to see, not posing on roofs, but in large format…” Céline Escouteloup is a Montreal author-poet, journalist and freelance writer in the field of art.
“Melissa Del Pinto is the best – repeat, the best – painter of birds we have ever seen. Her depictions of our fair-feathered friends truly take wildlife painting into the realm of portraiture.” Kirsten McCrea is an artist and founder of Papirmass, a novel art subscription business. She has exhibited in Toronto’s AGO, Montreal’s Musée des Beaux Arts and many other galleries.
“Melissa does birds unlike anything I have ever seen in my life. The canvases she uses are gigantic; the techniques she uses are modern (she combines spray paint and oil) and give her pieces a life-like character that is amazing.” Vanessa Sicotte is a leading, Montreal interior decorator, blogger and TV host.
“Melissa Del Pinto’s ‘The Crow’ (Mural 2015) is a gem. She manages to make us admire this bird, which otherwise leaves us indifferent, if not fearful. Any work that manages to get us out of our usual social ‘framework’ is an important work.” Carle Bernier-Genest is a Montreal blogger (C’est toi ma Ville). He writes about the City of Montreal – its beauty, pleasures, diversity and future.
“The artist’s style centres on placing birds in the spotlight. Her aim is for the public to focus on the animal rather than its surroundings. It is for this reason that she uses opaque colours as the background in her pieces. Each bird has its own personality, which the artist strives to illustrate as accurately as possible.” From an interview with Del Pinto by the art heritage team at La Maison Simons.
Interview with Melissa Del Pinto
“I have had the privilege of working with Melissa Del Pinto on two of my albums artwork covers…Del Pinto’s work is incredible…Her passion & detail definitely stand out from the rest… truly Montreal’s best!” Carmen Rizzo is an American two-time Grammy nominee, producer, mixer, programmer, DJ, remixer and recording artist based in Los Angeles. He has worked with numerous major international bands.
“Melissa Del Pinto is beloved in the Montreal Arts community because her work has something for everyone. Melissa’s technical skill and appealing paintings work well, both within the street-art and corporate environments. In addition, her positive attitude and winning smile make working with her fun and engaging!” André Biathlon – Partner at LNDMRK, a Montreal company renowned for its expertise in event-production, marketing and talent management. Co-founder of Montreal’s world famous MURAL Street-Art Festival.
Melissa Del Pinto’s work was exhibited at The Midway Gallery in San Francisco as part of its Grand Opening exhibition that featured cutting-edge, avant-garde “artists who are pushing boundaries and creating artwork that engages the public“. Her work has also been on the front cover of Montreal’s leading visual arts magazine, Décover .
Pushing boundaries of installation art has also been one of the most significant of the hybrid art forms used to exhibit while engaging the public. In 2015, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra commissioned Del Pinto to create, live, two original paintings, inspired by the opera “The Eaglet: Son of Napoleon”. While Del Pinto painted in the lobby of the orchestra hall, the orchestra played within and her work was videoed and projected on the outside walls of Montreal’s Maisoneuve Theatre.
In June 2017, she showed her latest work in collaboration with Montreal fashion icon, Marie Saint Pierre at “ACTE I: CAPSULE 30 ANS”, the thirty-year celebration of the Marie Saint Pierre brand and showing of her newest, fashion collection. Marie Saint Pierre’s collections are distributed in its two Montreal, Miami, online stores as well as in a multitude of sales outlets throughout North America. Pictured in the exhibition poster, on the right, is Del Pinto’s painting The Refuge.
- ACTE I: CAPSULE 30 ans, Montreal (2017)
- Mural Festival Élémentaire II, Montreal (2017)
- Midway Gallery San Francisco (2015)
- Women X Women Exhibit, Station 16 Gallery, Montreal (2015)
- Art Basel Miami, Déja vu Decor Gallery, Miami (2012)
- Art Basel Miami, Del Toro Shoes, The Wynwood Building, Miami (2012)
- God Save the Queen, Foufounes Electriques, Montreal (2012)
- Salon Masse, Galerie Pangée, Montreal (2012)
- WANDERSLUST (solo exhibits), Montreal (2011 & 2012)
- En Masse, Scope Art Fair, Miami (2011)
- BIG BANG, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal (2011)
- Lancement magazine Décover #12, Saint Denis, Montreal (2011)
- Romeo’s Museum, Canada’s First Urban art Museum (2018)
- Mural honouring Phyllis Lambert (Gazette, CTV News, LaPresse / October 2019)
In Montreal, Del Pinto’s work can be seen at the Galerie MX Art Contemporain.
Some of WANDERLUST pieces, from her first solo exhibition (2011), are presently at The Judith Liegeois Designs Gallery in Naples, Florida. Liegeois Designs is a well-established interior design firm with 4,000 square feet of gallery space.
Del Pinto’s work has also been exhibited at the famous Las Olas Fine Arts Gallery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It has been the primary venues for contemporary art for over 22 years, featuring original works by over 50 award-winning international artists.
press and videos
- “About that Mural, Interview with artist Melissa Del Pinto“, Mad Radishes Restaurants website, June 2017
- “Off the Wall Artists”, Atmosphere Air Transat Magazine, Nov. 2015 to April 2016, p. 34
- Carle Bernier-Genest, “Murales: le Top 25 de 2015”, C’est toi ma Ville, September 23, 2015
- “15 oeuvres de street art pour découvrir Montréal”, Nomad Junkies, September 19, 2015
- “Melissa Del Pinto“, La Maison Simons (YouTube), June 25, 2015
- “L’Aiglon : Fils de Napoléon – Orchestre symphonique de Montréal–OSM” (YouTube), BLVD Video Production Service, June 2015
- Chartrand, Marie- Hélène: “Le Festival Mural et ses créateurs”, Le Journal de Montréal, June 15, 2015
- “MURAL FESTIVAL – a democratização da arte urbana”, Janela Da Rua, June 10, 2015
- Sproull, Lisa: “Montreal artists are refreshing the Main”, Cult Montreal, June 8, 2015
- Montpetit, Caroline: “Les murs de la ville réinventés, Le festival MURAL s’installe sur le boulevard Saint-Laurent pendant 11 jours“, Le Devoir, Montreal, June 5, 2015
- Céline Escouteloup: “Festival Mural 2015: quand les murs de Montréal se font une beauté”, Nightlife, May 23, 2015
- Cindy Maram, “The Midway Gallery Grand Opening: ODDITIES”, Dig in Magazine, 26 May, 2015
- “LNDMRK X OSM” (Orchestre symphonique de Montréal), (YouTube), March 2015
- “Pour l’OSM, l’image mène à la musique”, INFOPRESSE, March 11, 2015
- Michael Bakouch: “Photo Journal: En Masse Exhibit Gets Colourful”, Montreal Rampage, October 20, 2014.
- Smith, Kat: “Romance Redux”, Naples Illustrated Magazine, February 2013, p. 64
- Arkin, Fatima: “Papirmasse makes art accessible, and affordable, to everyone”, The Gazette, Montreal, February 2013
- Laberge, Sylvie: “Avoir des ailes”, Sofadéco, January 2013, p. 12-13
- Leblond, Robert: “Une dame aux oiseaux qui s’inspire de la Floride”, Hebdo Floride, December 2012
- “Del Toro Shoes Wynwood Store Opening”, (YouTube), Dec. 13, 2012
- “Del Toro + Art Basel 2012” Papierdoll, December, 13, 2012
- “Les enfants rêvent de s’amuser avec leurs amis dans les nouveaux espaces éducatifs du musée”, M – La revue du Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts), September 2012, p.15
- Décover Magazine, Cover, Special Issue – “God Save the Queen”, July 2012
- ”Numéro hors série lancement Décover Magazine – God Save the Queen”, (YouTube), July 1, 2012
- McCrea, Kirsten: “Artist Interview: Melissa Del Pinto”. Papirmass. June 2012
- Apollo L’Agence, Femmes en Affaires – Women in Business 2012
- Décover Magazine, Vol. 12, September 2011, p. 20-21
- RSVP Montreal Magazine, “Melissa Del Pinto”, June 2011, p. 77 & p. 79
- Vanessa Sicotte: “Birds of a Feather”, Damask et Dentelle, June 7, 2011
- ROMEO’S GIN PROJECT, 24 MONTREAL ARTISTS, Romeo’s Museum, Canada’s First Urban art Museum (2018)
- Mural honouring Phyllis Lambert (Montreal Gazette / October 8, 2019)
- Mural honouring Phyllis Lambert (LaPresse / October 8, 2019)
- Mural honouring Phyllis Lambert (Montreal CTV News / October 8, 2019)
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Del Pinto has a varied experience that encompasses independent and commissioned fine-art, sculpture, large-scale murals and installations.
- Large-scale, Oil Paintings of Birds
- Contemporary Landscapes
- Compelling Portraits
- Whimsical Sculptures
- Design of Album Covers
- Store & Corporate Wall Art
- Logo & Promotion Design
- T Shirt Design
- Hand-Painted Wall Murals
- Installation / Performance Art
- Murals / Street Art
- Collaborative Art