Inspired by the modern art movement of pop art, minimalism, and art deco, including the compositions of Tom Wesselmann, Gary Hume, Roy Lichtenstein, Murakami and Geoff Mcfetridge, Melissa Mercado works with graphic illustrations to produce vibrant images with a playful irony – and a feminist response to society. She incorporates pop culture references (reimagining Disney Princesses) and everyday objects (reshaping lipsticks into bullets) in extreme simplicity of form to reflect her forward-thinking approach on beauty & style and the power of femininity.
Mercado studied art and graphic design at The Art Institute of Washington and worked as a makeup artist for companies like MAC Cosmetics and NARS Cosmetics. During that time, she also started producing personal artworks – and hung up a couple of pieces at home to inspire her daughter to create. She was compelled to extend a part of herself to the world. When she began to share her most intimate pieces, it did not make her feel vulnerable, but it liberated her spirit to continue cultivating her passion.
In 2014, Mercado was invited to share her pieces at Wallplay Gallery – “Time” was an exhibition curated by Greg Cummins and Josh Seidman to explore the concept of time through various mediums. She showcased her artworks alongside artists like Jay West, Naturel, Bradley Theodore, Brian Kirhagis, FilFury and Tony Peralta.