Sean Mellyn was born 1965 in Providence, Rhode Island. He received his BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Sean Mellyn’s work has been shown in numerous U.S. and international exhibitions and is included in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Modern Art the Whitney Museum of American Art, Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art among others. His most recent solo exhibition took place in 2013 at Underline Gallery. He teaches painting at the School of Visual Arts, lives and works in New York City.
In his mixed-media sculptures, paintings, prints, and drawings, Sean Mellyn sends up Americana, drawing largely from 1950s advertising imagery to present a twisted vision of American ideals. He is particularly interested in the saccharine vision of the American national character reflected in kitschy objects and advertisements, which he both mimics and mocks. Through deliberate oversimplification, airbrushed surfaces, and a Technicolor palette, Mellyn produces works that look like relics from the 1950s. Apple-cheeked children, cartoon characters, ham hocks, and decorative plates are among the subjects he disturbingly alters. In Nose Jobs (1998), for example, he paints two smiling, raven-haired girls against a crimson background—perfect in every way except for their heavily, absurdly bandaged post-op noses.
King Size Sleeper (2013)
Pigment print on paper. 18 ¾ x 24 inches. Edition of 9. Publisher: Michael Steinberg Fine Art. Printer: Andre Ribouli.
The House That Eye Built (2013)
Pigment print on paper. 25 x 28 inches. Edition of 15. Publisher: Michael Steinberg Fine Art. Printer: Andre Ribouli.
Tour Group (2013)
Pigment print on paper. 15.5 x 52 inches. Edition of 6. Publisher: Michael Steinberg Fine Art. Printer: Andre Ribouli.
Sleeper Portfolio (2004)
Etching, aquatint, spit bite aquatint and burnishing. Plate size: 5 ½ x 8 ½ inches. Paper size: 15 x 12 inches. Edition of 35. Publisher: Michael Steinberg Fine Art. Printer: Jennifer Melby.