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March 30, 2011

'Art Held in Contemp.' Volume 7 by Briana Melendez

 I've always been a visually stimulated individual. As a kid I was always mesmerized by the vibrant colors in nature & much to my parent's dismay the metal radiators in our home quickly became works of abstract art as I was entranced by the melting of my 64 colors of Crayola. The MOMA is by far my favorite museum in all of NYC. I can never get enough of the smooth perfection in marble and the vibrant colors of early 19th century paintings. As much as I love all these beautiful representations of creativity I could never feel connected completely. They are products of bygone eras that while I can admire I could never fully feel a part. That all changed a few years back. I picked up this art magazine called 'Juxtapoz' & BAM! It hit me like a Batman punch. There were images I understood, images I could relate to. Artwork that made sense & represented me. Knowing that 'my' art was alive & kicking has sent me on a quest to look for artist & works of art in which we all can see a little bit of ourselves. With each new installment I'll be aiming to do just that. Sit back & enjoy the ride, I know I have been.

If you grew up in NYC during the 70's & 80's you were able to experience first hand the birth of the modern graffiti movement. Soon this inner-city artistic fever spread world wide and, in the early 90's, it infected 18 year old Vanessa Castex in Toulouse, France. At first it was just hanging out with friends as they tagged their monikers across the city but, young Miss Castex decided to put her art school training to work. Soon sensual 'dolls' were popping up all over the walls in Toulouse and Miss Van was born. As the years have passed Miss Van has taken her sultry, flirtatious beauties and evolved them into deeper, darker emotional expressions of herself. The coquettish looks of her early street paintings have become raw, cultured energy that shows how an 18 year old  street artist has matured into an artistic force in her adulthood.

***Click 'READ MORE' below for more of Miss Van's work!***

...and as always, any Contemporary artists you'd like Mz. Melendez to spotlight? Email her directly:


  1. I am a big fan of 'Juxtapose'. I love reading about the motivations behind the materials and images that modern artists create. I don't know how someone lives WITHOUT creating be it a blog or the collages I do, or graffiti or anything. If you don't create, you die.

  2. You have this brilliant way of putting these unappreciated artists and their work on such a pedestal. You write about them with such regard and in return I want to know more about them. If I was an artist and I came across you spotlighting my work, I'd be completely honored & proud.

    Great stuff, once again. I truly enjoy these posts.

  3. I completely forgot to add that she is having an exhibit here in NYC starting 5/28 till 6/25 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery. If you are in the area I highly suggest checking it out. I'm there for sure!