With animated, Pop-inspired colors and pared-down compositions, Melissa Chandon’s paintings push everyday scenes toward the brink of imaginative, dynamic abstraction. In her vibrant, graphic world infused with California light, landscape breaks down into basic elements—what she calls “core essence”—while shadows and reflections take on a life of their own.
Chandon’s latest body of work, titled From There to Here, represents an accumulation of insight and technique gained over her years as an artist, from her early artistic leanings in childhood to her current position at UC Davis, where she teaches a course on color and form to visual arts majors—“an investigation into color theory and composition” that has expanded her own thinking.
Meanwhile, Chandon’s lifelong fascination with the American vernacular continues: “I am still captivated by the ideal of the holiday or vacation,” she notes. “Or perhaps it's just simple pleasures that I relish. The simple row boat, the backyard pool, the tail-fin of a highly designed car from my parents’ generation.” In her paintings, as in the objects and scenes that inspire her work, color, form, and design fuse into brilliant images. Though many of her settings are fictionalized (or at least, altered versions of reality), they have the air of vividly remembered places.