Melissa Ruffino, originally from the northeast, received her Fine Arts degree in painting at Parsons School of Design and studied painting abroad in Florence, Italy at Studio Art Center International. She was a juried member at the studio residency of Art Center/South Florida for 5 years, further developing her work. Melissa is currently living in North Carolina and creating a new collection of paintings, one that is influenced by a very different, much slower-paced environment than either New York City, Florence, or Miami. As a child—and like most children—she focused on creating representational art. It wasn’t until she studied at Parsons School of Design that her eyes were opened to abstract art. Studying artists such as Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Cecily Brown, William De Kooning, Joan Mitchell, and more. She began painting with oil and acrylic paints, using motion and expression and pouring the paint freely onto the canvas. Self-expression is how she defines herself as an artist. She continues to find new ways to experiment with her work and is actively seeking representation in the art world. 

Artist’s Statement: 

My work is a journey of the unknown subconscious mind applied to the canvas. I find myself lost in the work through the process of escapism, not paying attention to time or even my surroundings. The pleasure, conflict, and fear of what I discover about myself fuels me to evolve. I must discover more. I see the work as a window into nothing and everything. I am able to destroy the work and still make it precious. But above all else, the work must reveal beauty and darkness of the soul. When the world is asleep and the streets are quiet, I am free to create. Through the development of specific techniques, manipulating the paint through glazing and sanding and using contrasting colors and different surface textures, I create the chaotic but controlled atmosphere of dreams, and memories. These sensual and organic spaces evoke these powerful messages.