Melissa Behr


Artist Statement

The abstract works are built by using multiple layering to create depth and movement.  I mix matt and pearls to play with light.  I strive for a mystical effect and push the viewer to see different nuances as the day or their mood changes.

The mixed media works combine original photography with spiritual dream-like elements. The focal point is transferred to canvas then enhanced with paint. The themes I love to explore; the subconscious, religion, the passing of time, death, nature, (in a metaphysical rather than literal sense) sexuality, beauty, temptation, and fear. I’m interested in the way different materials work to achieve depth and movement, some of which include; acrylic paint, (metallic and opaque) loose powdered pigments, toner, glitter, graphite powder, white treated rice paper, spray-paint, resin, watercolor crayons, oil pastels, acrylic mediums, and pencil and markers. I use color to appeal to the viewer emotionally. When I start a painting, often the painting will dictate to me what it will be, accident combined with aesthetic intuition. A few of my influences include Dali, Man Ray, Chagall, Picasso, Max Beckmann, Avedon, Helmut Newton and Giacometti.

Photography/Film Bio

Melissa has been a professional photographer —gaining notoriety, shooting portraits of high profile celebrities such as Yoko Ono, ZZ Top, Dwight Yoakam, Billy Idol, Allen Ginsberg, Jeff Goldblum, Giovanni Ribisi, Juliette Lewis and Timothy Leary.  She has worked for many clients one of which was Guess, shooting a book to promote their brand.  Along with a professional acting career she also got a taste of producing, forming a company called S & M Independent Films Inc. where she wrote, directed, produced and starred in a feature length movie, “Me and Will” (1999). The film premiered on “Sundance Channel,” “Lifetime Movie Network,” and “Showtime.” It was released worldwide and was written up in magazines nationwide.