Artist Rob Mellor’s exuberant paintings deliver a 1-2-3 punch of color pattern and composition.
Few things have the power to make this Kristin Rocke family room’s bold wallpaper appear neutral, but artist Rob Mellor’s canvases entitled Oracle and Tumbled Under certainly accomplish that feat. Inspired by Mellor’s childhood love of comic books, a lifetime of studying contemporary artists and the everyday juxtapositions he spots, these and the artist’s other abstract paintings captivate with three key constants.
Pattern is a key ingredient in Mellor’s works. Nearly all of his eye-catching paintings begin with designs drawn from high-fashion fabric scraps, which he arranges, photographs and manipulates digitally to perfection before transforming the image with color and bold, brush-stroke compositions. “Pattern for me equals unlimited potential. Every time you tweak it, you can regenerate something entirely new that gives a work a new direction,” he says.
Mellor enlists his “maddening visual awareness” to bring everyday juxtaposition of objects to his art. Sometimes those inspirations manifest in the digital phase, some are expressed in the physical act of painting. This layering of divergences culminates in the final works: pieces that Mellor describes as “visual occurrences” rather than as any set painting style. Each occurrence features stark contrasts, as well as sweeping strokes to remind the viewer of the fluid nature of the paint.
If Mellor’s married forms and patterns are the mortar of his art, color is his wrecking ball. Splashes of coral intentionally disrupt the composition of Mellor’s pieces displayed in the Peterson’s living room, leaving viewers scratching their heads over the discordant decision. “I think that’s a sign of a successfully interesting painting,” he explains. S
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