The Cosentino Toronto City Showroom will transform into a chic art gallery on Thursday, September 23rd from 6-8 pm ET. The CosArt event will showcase the latest art exhibit from Toronto-based pop artist Michelle Vella, known for her colourful, bold, and energetic portrayals of pop icons and things. We connected with Michelle to learn more about her one-of-a-kind works of art and what attendees can expect during the event.
How long have you been an artist?
I’ve had a love for drawing since I was young enough to hold a crayon! I graduated with a Fine Arts BA in 1986, and the starving artist stigma did not sit well with my entrepreneurial spirit. So, with that, I pursued several art-related careers, and some not so related, but I was able to gain experience in sales, marketing, and business throughout the years. Thirty years into my career, I eventually became an artist, and the rest is history. In 2015, I decided to change careers and pursue art full-time. I began painting on large square canvases, featuring portraits of pop icons such as Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, and Twiggy for collectors worldwide. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure to work with and attend events for W Magazine and have participated in art fairs and solo art shows as an independent gallery and dealer across Canada, the United States and Internationally.
Tell us about the overall style of art that you do and where you find your inspiration.
I’ve always had an affinity for nostalgic pop culture, which inspires me for what I paint, which I guess makes me a pop artist. That nostalgic feeling I get is always fun and happy, which translates through my colourful work. My Big-Eye portraits have changed somewhat, now the eyes are big, but they stay within the frame of the face. I dropped the black outlines and flat paint surfaces for a more quasi-realistic approach. I paint what makes me smile, which usually makes the viewer smile, simple as that.
Your latest collection is being showcased during the Cosentino CosArt event in Toronto. Can you tell us a bit about that collection and what attendees can expect to see?
Some of the featured artworks are from my Artist series - Frida Kahlo, Salvatore Dali, and Jean Michel Basquiat, then from my Music Icons series - Elton John, Prince, Diana Ross and Lady Gaga, and one of my latest portraits of Anthony Bourdain. I also included my Eyes of Love and Hope, an inspiring piece painted during the lockdown. In addition to the original paintings, I will also be selling a selection of small, limited edition prints, which are also available on my website.
Why did you partner with Cosentino for the CosArt Toronto event?
I was fortunate to know Andrea Hayman, the Showroom Manager for the Cosentino City Toronto Showroom. She invited me to show my work at Cosentino as it will be the first big show I’ll have had since Art Basel Miami in 2019. It’s exciting to show my work in person again, and Cosentino’s beautiful showroom with its large white walls is an ideal location. It’s a great opportunity to introduce my work to new eyes interested in interior design and decor.
Lastly, where can individuals find and purchase your art?
You can find my artwork at The Cosentino Toronto City Showroom located on 665 Caledonia Road. You can also visit my website or my Instagram account @michellevellart.
For more information on Michelle Vella visit: https://michellevella.com/
To register for the Toronto CosArt event visit: https://we.cosentino.com/s/eventdetail?id=7013W0000000tk7&language=en_CA