Melinda Braathen Norway, b. 1985
Melinda Braathen (1985, Norway), lives and works in Los Angeles, CA (USA).
Melinda Braathen’s painting seamlessly transitions between elements of skilful figuration and expressively ambient abstraction. This blending of genres, traditions, and techniques imbues the artist’s work with a unique sensibility that melds close observation of both nature and human dynamics with the theatricality and acute emotional attunement of pure expressionism. Braathen’s work stills and materializes the flux of life’s dynamic intensities into bodied abstraction of meditative paint swirled in masterful grooves of balanced coloration. The artist’s working process usually starts with her own photographs, taken outside in natural settings and often incorporating figurative elements. The photos are then deliberately decolorized, leaving only the contours of their constitutive parts in place, and meticulously transferred to canvas. Braathen subsequently fills the transferred outlines with more emotionally and psychologically charged colours, highlighting the richness and density of the living landscape’s resonant commotion of co-activity by way of its expressive solidification in paint. A considerable portion of the painting’s surface is often built up with small brush marks that simultaneously bring out the recognizable qualities of the painted subject while ushering in a deeper sensitivity to the environment’s elemental and energetic forces.