Just as God created each of us, we are invited to co-create with God throughout our lives. This may be why God gave people the gifts of creativity, artistic talent, and a passion for making art. The arts council helps make Trinity church a place where those who have been created as artists in the world may showcase their work, and where the whole community can benefit by having access to great art. New art shows are installed every few months in our parish hall and adjoining hallways. Art can be viewed Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 5 pm, and on Fridays after 12 Noon to 5 pm, as well as following church services on Sundays. Please use the River Street entrance.
Michelle C. Mendez
Sherlock Series Art At Trinity Exhibition
January 7 through March 4, 2019
About the Work
I paint ‘film stills’ self portraits with recontextualized images from the film noir series Sherlock Holmes starring Basil Rathbone. The concept of ‘film stills’ is inspired by a series of photographs by Cindy Sherman whose self portraits examine stereotypes of women. My paintings portray the great Sherlock Holmes actor Basil Rathbone with myself as a scene character. I have read the collection of mysteries as written by Sir Conan Doyle and enjoy pulling quotes for titles.
I work from ‘film stills’ by freeze framing a particular close up scene of the debonair Basil Rathbone from a movie DVD on the TV and then take images of myself posed and dressed in character before scene as if I am in the movie. I role play characters like Dr. Watson, Irene Adler and clients. I have also appropriated images of Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and transformed them to create new scenes with overlay images of myself posing separately for the scene. While recovering a head injury, I was able to follow the slower paced film noire Sherlock films. While feeling sick most of the time, I wished I could be in those old movies…so I decided to jump in. This cheered me no end and empowered me slowly, in baby steps, to reactivate my creative self. As my energy increased, I began painting again. Images of me are transforming as I further investigate the theme of male/female archetypes.
All paintings are a uniform size and media tonalities to convey the sense of ‘film stills.’ Paintings are created on tar paper using mixed media of oil paint, oil stick, oil pastel, and oil block printing ink. I work mainly from black to white building up layers of tonal and glazes of color on tar paper which is a sturdy yet malleable support. I’ve found tar paper does retain color and luster and I enjoy the interaction of the tar which offers a golden hue to whites. Albert Pinkham Ryder painted with tar directly for similar effects.
About the Artist
Michelle C. Mendez was born in Boston and graduated from Boston University College of Fine Arts with a Master’s Degree in Visual Arts in 1990 under the direction of John Moore, with brief study with James Weeks in 1983. Her undergraduate teachers John Wilson, David Aronson, Morton Sacks, George Rose, Langdon Quinn and had a huge impact on her drawing and design sensibilities. She also studied with Gabriel Laderman and Gillian Pederson-Krag at Caumsett Landscape Painting Queens College, Israel Herschberg at JSS College at Civeta Castella, Italy, Julia Wroughton, Innemoire Lodge, Isle of Mull Scotland, and Melissa Meyer at Truro Center for the Arts. She has traveled to England, Scotland, France, Italy, China to study art and paint. Formerly, she painted roof top cityscapes from her studio in Fort Point Artist Community, Boston.
Since 2003, she has taught visual art at Canton High School. Formerly employed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as administrative support, she immersed herself in the galleries, studying and sketching the art often.
Mendez has shown in many group shows and solo exhibits in the Boston area including Firehouse Gallery Newburyport, All Newton Public Library, Cambridge Art Association, and in Fort Point Channel Artists Community where she lived and worked. Her work was chosen by Nell Blaine for an exhibit in New York. She has been working on the Sherlock Series based on the film noir series starring Basil Rathbone, inspired by Cindy Sherman’s “Film Still” series since 2014. Her work follows the rich tradition of mid-20th C Boston Expressionist artists whose work she inhaled; Max Beckmann especially.