The turn of the 20th century has ushered in a legion of modern art movements that shied away from traditions of the past in a spirit of experimentation. The revolutionary perception of art shifted from the emphasis on form towards the expression of the self and the progression of society, which later accelerated into Abstract Expressionism after World War II. The Abstract Expressionists embraced the essence of spontaneous, automatic, or subconscious creation that responded to the political climate of the post-World War II McCarthy era, thus negating the artistic censorship of the period. Evidently, the influence of the movement weaved itself into the Contemporary era, saturating exhibitions and art shows with its familiar manifestation of energized visuals, yet there is the Switzerland-based Hungarian artist Melinda Biró who is in a league of her own when it comes to innovating beyond traditions of the style.
It was not too long ago when the former CEO of a medical product development company stepped off the shallow end and immersed herself in the creative field. By the end of 2017, Melinda Biró took a leap of faith and left her position of comfort to focus exclusively on her artistic venture. The Guerrilla Girls’ infamous 1989 poster artwork emphatically stated that 85% of the nudes in the Modern Art section of the Metropolitan Museum are female. In 2012, yet another assessment by them revealed that the percentage only went down to 76%. Melinda was perturbed by the homogeneous artistic climate of having nudes, especially female ones, as a fundamental subject matter back home in Hungary, which ultimately veered her away from figure paintings and accurate depictions of recognisable forms. What began as an outlet of expression and exploration for her soon spiralled into a body of works that pushed the envelope of art making further into new domains; it is in this realm where Melinda’s Hybrid Creatures thrive and flourish.
Aptly titled, the series of works is not a by-product of an individual art form. Melinda’s amalgamation of traditional techniques with digital technology detaches borders between the juxtaposed ideologies and disciplines of Modern and Contemporary, fine arts and graphic design. Her painstaking three-tiered approach begins with a large-scale Abstract Expressionism of oil on canvas, followed by close-up photography of specific areas within the painting. The process concludes with clinical rendering of the shots and re-establishing the composition via an image-editing software. This macro-micro-macro development closely mirrors the vigorous yet controlled chromatic pulsing of paint marks on the canvas while offering the viewers a divergent perspective of the elements within oil paintings. Through digital manipulations, Melinda has even managed to graft her pieces onto objects like soda cans which realigns the conceptual presentation of the work within the Contemporary landscape, resulting in what possibly resembles the artistic offspring of Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol.
As Melinda further discussed about her career adjustments, she expressed absolutely no regret in forgoing the securities of corporate life, and that “Real art cannot be a hobby.” She goes on to reiterate that one should not simply do things half-heartedly. Hybrid Creatures is the visual translation and embodiment of Melinda’s steadfast conviction towards the arts. With several exhibitions in Italy, Monaco, and Dubai already under her belt, Melinda has made notable track record in the art market, therefore elevating the demand for her works. Ultimately, Melinda Biró’s integrated styles and techniques are a punch in the gut for those who wish to solely settle for her oil paintings.
More works by Melinda Biró are available for perusal on www.melindabiro.com.