'Tucked away in a modest studio in London, prominent super realism artist Paul Mellia prepares for his first time showing in the North of England. Ignoring the hussle and bussle of London, he’s immersed in the timeless meditation of creation, meticulously focusing on every intricate detail of his new piece. A flicker of light here. A thread of hair there. The approach is almost sculptural; painting and peeling away layers, until the final un-masking of one of his new Originals.
Born in 1958, Paul’s career began after graduating with a fine art degree from South End College of Art (1976-1979). His first appointment was painting frescos and 16th Century images for the Baroness De Vail in Paris. There, he lived an almost Bohemian existence, basking in the inspiration of legendary painters and sculptors such as Rubin, Picasso, Dali and Gaudi. But it was Warhol’s Pop Art that resonated the deepest, subsequently fuelling Paul to focus on what he loved most - images of Americana, gleaned from books given to him as a child. ‘From a very early age I was able to paint them in fine detail. I wanted to make them real and show a different side of them’.
And so he does. Now one of the world’s fastest selling artists in today’s contemporary scene, Paul is renowned for his distinctive 3-D interpretations of celebrated icons. Straddling the delicate line between visual art and popular culture, his work is neither illustrative, nor photographic, but stands somewhere between the two - frequently verging on fantasy. His subjects are often heroes, including Super, Hollywood and Cartoon. While some claim merely to ascetically massage, others are infused with the weight of being. Don’t be fooled by his primary, lushly exaggerated colours. The hero’s journey that Paul lures us into, delves beyond the innocent domain of primary school kids. Joker having a dark night of the soul; Catwoman just daring you to say no. Even Hulk is brooding, sinister...