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My name is Melanee Hamilton I am an emerging studio artist. In May, 2023 I completed my MFA in painting at SCAD and in January I had my first gallery solo exhibition at the Liggett Gallery in Tulsa. In March, my husband and I relocated permanently to Charlotte where I now live and work. I create work that ranges from traditional painting on canvas in acrylics and oils to text-based, video and 3D work using a variety of elements that come together through the text and vibrant color palette. 

Artist Statement

My paintings and conceptual pieces reflect the exasperation of being a woman who finds herself enveloped by omnipresent institutions with nefarious intent. The materiality of my work varies from traditional painting on canvas in acrylic and oils to text-based and 3D work using a variety of elements that come together to support the overall narrative. Working through corrupted morals experienced as a former member of the evangelical church, I explore my traumas of manipulative religious institutions. Strong influences are Barbara Kruger, Tracey Emin, Frida Kahlo, Kehinde Wiley, Chris Ofili and Maurizio Cattelan. By deconstructing contemporary religious institutions, narrative structures and text into a historical framework, I am transforming the dialog and promoting a critical exchange between contemporary art and Christianity.


Much of this critique is coy and at times, even cheeky, modulating covert signifiers such as eagles, ichthyses, idealistic chapels, thorny roses and BDSM culture. While the work is very diverse in form and materiality, the text and color palette bridges the work. Each layer of paint on the decadent large to mid-sized canvases oscillates between realism, gestural and the conceptual. As an artist, I push these ideas about the abuse of power in my work as a nod to a world that seems out of control. Peeling back the layers of disconcerting beauty, my work parodies both classical romanticism and our tendency as humans to hang onto a bittersweet nostalgia for an idealistic society.

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