Welcome to another episode of the art of aperitif! Today’s artist interview guest is Melanie Lieb. Melanie is the most fun and delightful human you could hope to meet, wearing a smile and incredible jewelry art (like ice cream cone earrings!) that she designs and makes herself. Melanie grew up in the Chicago area in a family of artists, and began to study fine art at an early age (middle school, in fact!). She pursued and education in drawing and painting in Milwaukee and Chicago, eventually starting her own gallery with a friend. With the space to work in Melanie evolved into a multimedia artist. She now creates thematic shows in everything from paint, print, soft sculpture, plaster, and sound installations.
Her shows explore complex ideas such as loss and perception, but through a lens of humor and whimsy. Her art is punctuated with playful images from childhood – dolls, animals, balloons, hot dogs – rendered in unexpected ways or overlaid with abstracted patterns. This creates a dreamlike sense of uncertainty and tension.
In our conversation we chat about her family influences, her growth as an artist, and descriptions of some of her remarkable shows. I was so inspired and moved by her description of her show in which she used balloon imagery to process the loss of her mother. Not to mention the show she had just had here in Duluth at Lizzard’s Gallery in which she created dozens of majestic hot dogs covered in gold fabric and bedazzled with sequins.
I think any of our canned cocktails pair well with a hot dog, but my top recommendation would be to pair this hot dog studded conversation with a Vélo spritz.