Wow. I’m in British Vogue Magazine.

This is HUGE!! VOGUE reached out to me for a feature on their Gallery Profile page in the October issue.

I am ecstatic over this…to be noticed by such a high profile magazine such as VOGUE has truly exceeded my wildest expectations. WOW!

My art is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m sure happy it’s theirs!! Straight up EPIC. Thank you British Vogue for this fabulous opportunity.

My Mural @ The Port of Montreal

This is my latest mural.

I’m painting “5 stories up” at the Old Port of Montreal. I chose black-on-black & gold for this piece.

The Port of Montreal is a port and transhipment point on the St. Lawrence River. It’s an international container port that services Toronto, Central Canada, the U.S. Midwest and the U.S. Northeast. It handles more than 2,000 ships and over 28 million tones of material per year. Montreal also welcomes cruise ships.

The Port of Montreal originated in the historic area now known as the Old Port of Montreal and over the years expanded eastward.  In 1978, the Port of Montreal ceded the area of the Old Port to the Old Port Corporation, a public corporation responsible for developing tourism and recreational activities in the area. The site is now a cultural gem and a major tourist attraction. It has  museums, restaurants, shops and water-related activities.

Hommage à Morrisseau

This is my latest mural, an hommage to Norval Morrisseau.

It was produced by @mumtl for @mbamtl special thanks to our partners for making it happen – arrondissement de Ville Marie, Ville de Montréal, Destination Centre- Ville, le Musée des beaux arts de Montréal and to my lovely assistant @corinne_lachance.

MU is a charitable non-profit organization whose mandate is to transform Montreal’s public spaces by creating murals that are rooted in local communities. MU’s projects are designed to promote the democratization of art and local development. Over the past seven years, MU has produced 70 large-scale murals in 15 neighbourhoods of Montreal.

In order to revitalize this heavily vandalized sector, MU initiated the creation of murals on the theme of fine art that have a graffiti or “street art” aesthetic. I was asked to do the first intervention, a stylistically influenced by Norval Morisseau, an artist whose works are held in the Museum of Fine Arts’ permanent collection.

Norval Morrisseau (1932 – 2007) was an Aboriginal Canadian artist. The subjects of his art were the myths and traditions of the Anishnaabe people, the cultural and political tensions between native Canadian and European traditions, his existential struggles, and his deep spirituality and mysticism. His style is characterized by thick black outlines and bright colors.

During his incarceration, he attended a local church where he was struck by the beauty of the images on stained-glass windows. Some of his paintings, like Indian Jesus Christ, imitate that style and represent characters from the Bible with native features.

He was known as the “Picasso of the North”. He founded the Woodlands School of Canadian art and was a prominent member of the “Indian Group of Seven”.

At the age of 19, Morrisseau became very sick. He was taken to a doctor but his health kept deteriorating. Fearing for his life, his mother called a medicine-woman who performed a renaming ceremony: She gave him the new name Copper Thunderbird.

According to Anishnaabe tradition, giving a powerful name to a dying person can give them new energy and save their lives. Morrisseau recovered after the ceremony and from then on always signed his works with his new name using Cree syllabics.

 

Osheaga Arts and Music Festival

This year (2016 ), I was nominated for the 2016 Osheaga Arts and Music Festival. It’s a multi-day, indie, music festival that is held annually in the summer at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Sainte-Hélène in Montreal. I hope that you stopped by the Osheaga Arts Village to see what local artists created for the festival.

It was very exciting to be a part of this amazing festival once again this year working with En Masse Pour Les Masses on some bigger and even better installation works! Check out the visual artists line-up. It was great – Kirsten McCrea, Peru Dyer Jalea, Gracia Dyer Jalea,  Olivier Bonnard, Jorden David Doody and so many more!? Fred Caron killin’ it once again.

Osheaga has established itself as the most important festival of its genre in Canada. It attracts over 100 bands and over 135,000 music lovers from North America and Europe last year. Osheaga is also considered one of the best music events in the world in line with Coachella, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza.

Pictured here is the mural I had the pleasure of doing for Osheaga. On the flip side – AIR element and celestial mapping done with nails and line wire in hot pink, of course.

It was an amazing experience with so many talented artists. A huge thanks to @fredifredfred for the opportunity, to @kway_official, @neweracap @newerator, @vanscanada for the awesome gear, to my boyz @earth_crusher, @peru143 for helping me reach the high spots and to master chef @chefchuckhughes for feeding us in Artist World all weekend- you put together an impressive spread.

The Osheaga music festival Montreal was an unforgettable time!

 

MURAL Festival Art Fair 2016

My sparrows are my latest work for deiNeri’s stand’ART. They were on exhibit at this year’s (June 2016) MURAL Festival Art Fair held at Le Capitol-Espace Infopresse at 4310 Saint Laurent, Montréal QC.

The Art Fair brought together myself, Montreal artist OMEN and 9 other exhibitors: Galerie Bloom (Montréal), Station 16 (Montréal), #Hashtag Gallery (Toronto), Artêria Art Gallery (Bromont), Galerie D’Este (Montréal), Galerie C.O.A (Montréal), Artgang Montreal (Montréal), Colagene (Montréal, Paris) and the magazine esse arts + opinions

deiNERI is a new and innovative Montreal-based company. Its stand’ART is a new product that combines art and design to offer new possibilities which are as much practical solutions to challenges of privacy, separating spaces and managing flow, as much they contribute beautification, aesthetic and emotional expression to any space.  stand’ART is great in interior scapes, gardens, parks, city streets, lobbies of commercial buildings, office waiting rooms and more.

See more about my art at deiNERI.

My Birds up Close

People know my work best for my dramatic, large-scale paintings and murals of photorealistic birds. It’s a passion that I have had since childhood. However, it would be wrong to consider me a naturalist or wildlife artist. When I do a painting of a bird, I am not aiming for realism. I am trying to capture not only their image but the stillness of their souls. That stillness is meant to inspire reflection for those of us whose lives are in constant movement.

Visualization is key for me.  It is a kind of zen process. I have to see the painting as a completely finished piece, in my mind.  I establish the subject, the layout, the colors and the size… I even sometimes see it hung in a particular setting or establishment. If it’s street art, then I visualize it as part of the whole environment and everything around it.

When I do a painting of birds, I always start with the eyes because I feel like they need to communicate to me. I need to be able to relate or communicate with the subject and then it morphs from that point on. Because the bird is a single theme for me, I always put a plain background in a solid colour. I really want to emphasize the bird. I want its true character to shine through.

Birds have long been strong symbols for aboriginal people throughout the world. The crane has represented longevity, the owl wisdom, the parrot word magic, the cardinal power and enthusiasm, the canary illumination and the crow prophecy. Birds have also been symbols of spiritual growth or transcendence and man’s striving to attain that goal. Their flight has symbolized our own journey of release, renunciation, atonement and compassion.

For me, birds have always symbolized freedom and our awareness of our own forever-fleeting present. I feel that my paintings of birds not only show us the beauty of the bird itself but are also telling us to enjoy each of life’s individual moments – “Carpe diem; seize the day!”

In the painting pictured above, “The Merkaba in Flight”, I painted a Black-Capped Chickadee in flight. Behind it is the Star or Double Tetrahedron, also called the Merkaba, perhaps the most astounding geometric and all encompassing of all designs in Sacred Geometry. In early Jewish Mysticism, it was a vehicle (Merkavah) by which Ezekiel ascended into heaven. In Ancient Egypt, this primal pattern was called the Mer-Ka-Ba (Mer or light, Ka or soul, and Ba the body or reality) or rotating light that would take the spirit and the body from one world into another.

I hope that it touches you in some way.

I painted the Merkaba also in the Montreal offices of Shopify. In this high-tech environment, the Merkaba now becomes a symbol for personal and business growth and transcendence to a higher level.

To see more birds, please visit my Fine Art Gallery and my Studio Store! See the Shopify Merkaba in Commissions.

The Crow Takes Centre Stage

Wall art, public art, urban art or street art has evolved! It started as an underground movement linked to the hip-hop culture. At one time, it may have been called illegal art, graffiti art and even wall therapy.

Now, it’s international festivals in many major cities (Montreal, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Dallas, Lima, Buenos Aires and more), with artists who have fine-arts degrees. Google’s Art Project has dedicated a web site to Street Art. When the festivals are over, they leave behind revitalized neighbourhoods, more tourism and increased access to art in an engaging, open-air museum.

I have created a number of large-scale, street-art creations on walls in both Montreal an Miami both individually and collaboratively.

In 2015, I was humbled to be chosen as one of only 10 Quebec artists to participate in Montreal’s Mural International Art Festival. Another 10 artists were international talents. St-Laurent Blvd. was closed between Sherbrooke Street and Mount Royal Avenue for a record 11 days, as artists produced their works.

I chose to paint The Crow. I’ve been fascinated by crows since I was a child. They’re often regarded as evil omens, messengers of prophecy or even birds of death — I was trying to take that all away so people could see how amazingly beautiful crows really are. Hopefully, by allowing The Crow’s beauty to shine in happy, positive light and color, all our childhood fears would fall by the wayside. Then people might not be so negative about crows.

Thousands of visitors, aided by a site map (3522 St. Dominique, Montreal), admired the progress of the wall-works. They walked on their own or as part of guided tours that included films as well as visits to market stalls and street art galleries. Many Montrealers were introduced to my work and became fans. They captured The Crow on their phones and cameras and tweeted or re-tweeted it, facebooked it, blogged it or instagramed it. Carle Bernier-Genest, well-known blogger on his site, “C’est toi ma Ville”, writes about the City of Montreal – its beauty, pleasures, diversity and future. He said,”Le Corbeau de Melissa Del Pinto (MURAL 2015) est un véritable bijou. Elle réussit à nous faire admirer cet oiseau, qui autrement nous laisse indifférent, sinon craintif. Une œuvre, qui réussit à nous faire sortir du ‘cadre’ social habituel, est une œuvre importante.”

Many people stopped by personally to tell me how much they admired my work. On June 14, 2015 Bono was one of them. Bono is the lead vocalist of the rock band U2 as well as a singer-songwriter, musician, venture capitalist, businessman and internationally-renowned philanthropist.

Mural 2

Please visit my Street Art Gallery to see more!

Painting the Emperor’s Son

In March 2015, I was commissioned to paint a work of art inspired by L’Aiglon (The Eaglet), an opera in five acts, set to Alexandrine verse by Edmond Rostand. The Opera paints a picture of Napoleon’s son, Napoléon François Charles Joseph Bonaparte, who was at birth proclaimed King of Rome. While he sought to free himself from the shadow of his illustrious father, he ended up simply following in his father’s footsteps.

I was asked to execute my portrait of Napoleon II in real time at the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) before and during intermissions of the March 17th, 19th and 21st concerts.

In addition, under the direction of the marketing firm LNDMRK, Montreal video production company BLVD streamed a video of me painting in the lobby onto the outside of the street facades of the Kennedy Pavilion of UQAM and the Maisonneuve Theatre located in Montreal’s entertainment district. Thousands of intrigued, street spectators watched me as I worked in the Theatre lobby and as conductor Kent Nagano led the world-class musicians of the OSM in concert.

Del Pinto OSM Montreal 4

I also had the pleasure of meeting Kent George Nagano who is an American conductor and opera administrator. He has been the music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra since 2006 and is general music director of the Hamburg State Opera since 2015 through 2020. Photos are by Koralie Woodward.

Del Pinto OSM Montreal 3

Please visit my Press Room for 2 videos of this event!

Through the Eyes of a Child

My sculptured frames on mirrors or chair or as part of paintings are really a fusion of painting and sculpture. I believe that they defy categorization.

I use rare finds and eclectic troves from our collective past – toy dinosaurs and soldiers, collected shells from seaside family vacations and the silk flowers from grandma’s house. I use retro toys and keepsakes from our childhood memory box, things that your parents and mine put aside because they meant something to us when we were kids.

These small treasures are meticulously pulled together in a kind of arranged marriage that hopefully evokes in us those safe, reassuring memories of our childhood. When these sculptures follow the contours of a mirror, I am hoping that it evokes in us or forces us to reflect on those forgotten emotions.

To see more sculptures, please visit my Fine Art Gallery and my Studio Store!

La Petite du Musée

I have completed a significant number of commissioned pieces for various Canadian, American and international clients.

In 2012, I was commissioned by The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal’s largest museum and amongst the most prominent in Canada, to do a painting for their 2012 – 2013 school bulletin.

I decided to re-interpret William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s painting Parure des Champs. Using elements such as the crafts young students created during workshops at the Museum, art supplies, a school bag and running shoes; I turned the little girl into ‘La Petite du Musée’.

I also included a Montreal skyline in the distance and, in keeping with my theme from my WANDERLUST exhibit, I painted a sparrow on some spray cans. It’s a typical bird you would see all over urban Montreal.

Please visit my Commissions page for more information!