Dawn Mellor (born 1970) is a British painter. 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. As a teenager, Mellor was fascinated with Michael Jackson, and drew numerous portraits of the singer. A book of these drawings, entitled Michael Jackson and Other Men, was published by Studio Voltaire in 2012. Mellor is known for making “obstreperously satiric portraits of celebrities”. Her paintings, which tend to reference iconic images of their famous subjects, often feature graphic violence, verbal profanity and explicit sexuality. 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. 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.
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