Dawn Mellor

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Dawn Mellor (born 1970) is a British painter.

Early life and education[edit]

Dawn Mellor

Mellor was born in Manchester, England. She attended Central St. Martin's for her undergraduate studies, and received her Masters from the Royal College of Art in London.[1]

As a teenager, Mellor was fascinated with Michael Jackson, and drew numerous portraits of the singer.[2] A book of these drawings, entitled Michael Jackson and Other Men, was published by Studio Voltaire in 2012.[3]

Career and work[edit]

Mellor is known for making "obstreperously satiric portraits of celebrities".[4] Her paintings, which tend to reference iconic images of their famous subjects, often feature graphic violence, verbal profanity and explicit sexuality.[5]

In a profile of Mellor in The Guardian, writer Jessica Lack draws a contrast between the artist and her contemporary, Elizabeth Peyton, who is also known for portraying the famous: "[Mellor's] paintings do not speak of the mysticism and romance of stardom. Her celebrities are not quixotic figures, but the personification of our basest emotions. They are grotesque parodies: sallow, deformed and cruel. Over the years, she has painted Britney Spears as a bald-headed, Charles Manson-ish psycho, Judy Garland as a pill-vomiting virgin, and Julianne Moore as a bloodshot zombie with teeth to rival Shane MacGowan's."[6]

A subject of particular interest to Mellor is Dorothy, the protagonist of The Wizard of Oz, portrayed by Judy Garland, whom she has painted repeatedly in her 2008 exhibition at Team Gallery, A Curse on your Walls.[4] Other regular subjects include Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Mother Teresa, Condoleezza Rice, Shimon Peres, and Margaret Thatcher.[7][8]

Mellor has held numerous one-person exhibitions since her debut solo at Victoria Miro Gallery in London in 1999. In 2008, she held a solo exhibition at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zürich.[1] She is represented by Team Gallery in New York.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Dawn Mellor". ArtSlant. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  2. ^ Julie Verhoevan (20 January 2012). "Portrait Of An Artist". British Vogue. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Dawn Mellor, Book Launch: Michael Jackson and Other Men, Studio Voltaire". Studio Voltaire. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Art in Review". The New York Times. 4 July 2008. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  5. ^ "The Erotic, the Political, and the Personal". The New York Sun. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  6. ^ Jessica Lack (14 October 2009). "Dawn Mellor's celebrity stalker show comes to Frieze art fair". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  7. ^ "The Crying Game | Village Voice". Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Dawn Mellor at Team". artcritical. 2008-06-27. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Team Gallery, José Freire". teamgal.com. Retrieved 2017-06-21.