Artist Spotlight Series: Melvin G.
I was introduced to the cool art of Morgan last week at Capitol Charlotte’s Beach Week.
I was immediately smitten with the collage faces and the abstracts.
Enjoy getting to know
Florence, South Carolina
The name Melvin G. comes from when I studied abroad in Italy. My email given to me was the initial of my first name followed by part of my last name. My professor asked who Melvin G. was, and after we all figured out who he was talking about and had a good laugh, that was the name I went by the rest of my college career.
What is your training?
I grew up taking any and every art class offered. I studied Interior Design at Winthrop Univeristy, and finished up at Clemson University studying Art History and Visual Arts with a focus in painting. I also studied watercolor in Orvieto, Italy.
What inspires you and your designs?
Music. I let the music take control of all my movements when I paint.
And of course my favorite artists, Jean Michel Basquiat, Williem de Kooning, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol.
What is your favorite piece?
Rosso e Gialle Due
Also I have fallen in love with each of my face collages
How has the your area influenced your work?
We are temporarily living in my hometown of Florence, SC. I have used this time to focus on my family, and they have been the main focus of my work. I have been observing both my father and my daughter and their lack of control. They handle it in different ways, my two year old daughter is unaware of it and makes large marks and covers the entire surface without second guessing anything. My father who has suffered from Parkinson’s for fifteen years tries so hard to have control, that it becomes the tiniest marks when he writes. I try to emulate this is my work by having both the large movement covering the surface and the small markings to draw you in, and I love the balance of the two.
What is your favorite restaurant in Florence?
We eat at The Clay Pot at least twice a week. It is a quaint little coffee shop owned by the sweetest couple in downtown Florence. They offer one meal option a day, and it is always made with fresh local ingredients. I wish I could persuade Peggy to be my personal chef and more so persuade my husband to pay her.
What is your favorite cocktail?
Usually have a glass of red wine, but I’ll never turn down a Mojito.
How do you balance personal life and work?
My daughter goes to preschool in the mornings, so I try to use that time to paint in my studio. When I am lucky she will take a nap in the afternoon, so I can get a little more work done. I try to leave all that behind at night and on the weekends, so I can focus on my family. Every now and again when I have a deadline and no other choice, I let Liza come into my studio and draw while I work. She absolutely loves it, and tells me all my work is beautiful. She is such great moral support when joins me!
Austria. My mom hitchhiked all over Europe when she was younger, and she said that was her favorite place she visited. I would love to see the beauty that she has described to me.
I actually did a portrait of Oscar de la Renta made entirely out of red, blue, yellow, black and white thumbtacks. I dream of doing another one for someone as amazing as him!
Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
It is always different. I get something that reminds me of that person. A bottle of wine or a Diptyque candle are my favorite last minute gifts.
Who is your style icon?
Erin Wasson. A little bohemian and embarrassingly a little 90s grunge. I can not help myself.
Your favorite up and coming artist?
Demetria Chappo Ceramics. She is not so much up and coming, but I was just recently met her at the Brooklyn Flea Market and fell in love with her work.
What is your most treasured possession?
A tiger locket of my great grandmothers. It was actually the inspiration behind the first collection of Melvin, a jewelry line I co-designed for five years.
What are you reading?
Sadly, I am not much of a reader. However, I am currently rereading Bringing up Bebe and Bebe Day by Day. I love the way the French raise children, eat, live, think, do everything.
What are you listening to?
Usually Ryan Adams, Pete Yorn or Red Hot Chili Peppers. And sometimes I throw some Roy Orbison in the mix.
What are your favorite blogs / publications?
Domino, Elle Decor UK, Spanish Architectural Digest, Vogue Living Australia, Porter, Vogue and Elle (from every country available)
A glimpse at her killer portfolio