Melissa Schainker is a New York-city based artist whose oil paintings appear to plumb the depths of the human subconscious, in which figurative and representational forms collide with abstract symbols. In her works such as Dissolution and The Agony in Waiting on view at Alfa Art Gallery, Schainker juxtaposes figurative forms such as elements of the human body (i.e. eyes, hands, etc.) against colorful abstract symbols to create art that straddles the threshold between surrealism and realism. Inspired in part by murals and street art, in crafting her vibrantly colored works, Schainker seeks to “bridge the gap between street art and fine art.” Schainker additionally states that her deeply personal aesthetic practice is inspired by “routine, linear relationships, and found objects” and by intense emotions such as “love and deep reflective pain.” Schainker studied graphic design and painting at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville and the University of Southern Indiana, as well as pursued an MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Schainker has exhibited her work to acclaim both globally and across the nation: most recently, her paintings were exhibited at the 2022 Group Show at Yonkers Art Weekend at Riverfront Library in Yonkers, NY as well as in the 2022 Group Show “INERTIA catharsis” curated by Queen of Hearts Global at One Art Space in New York, NY and Brassworks Gallery in Portland, Oregon.