Caldwell Snyder Gallery is pleased to present a dynamic new body of work by Melissa Chandon. In her current series “California Dreaming” Chandon incorporates iconic symbols and signs which she argues represent our modern times; reflecting the powers of seduction and desire in search for an ideal of happiness.
According to Chandon, these paintings serve as artistic notes from her investigation into a shared cultural symbology. She questions how certain visual symbols affect our desires and beliefs and how we trust them to give us meaning and truth. Her current series investigates Post WWII to the present, but also looks to the future that exists only through visualization and thought.
“Post WWII saw a rise in college-educated workers which provided the infrastructure from which theories on marketing and technology grew, and as a result, advertising agencies began producing dramatic ad campaigns that resembled modern art, the television delivered advertising directly into the living rooms of many homes, and movies from Hollywood and TV shows depicted an idealized America. Writers and artists also contributed to the creation of this vision, and all of these came to define a “new America.” In the process, Americans developed a new sense of identity.
My paintings are abstracted and reduced images that speak to the infrastructure of that thinking which lead to the creation of our modern world. In an attempt to capture the most common and everyday, my paintings come across as constructed illusions linking hybridity with irony. They are windows into a visual world of consumer goods. My paintings pose as vestiges of a bygone era; I paint not to be nostalgic but to raise basic questions about social, cultural, economic, and political change. Remembering what the past feels like through conjured memories, is a way of encountering, and countering, the here and now.” ~ Melissa Chandon, Artist Statement