Melissa McCutcheon is an oil painter originally from Seattle, Washington currently based in Washington, D.C. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting from Washington University in St. Louis.
Her paintings are an examination of the sense of identity associated with displacement and its relationship to one's cultural and socio-political context. Each painting symbolizes her experience as an outsider traveling and living throughout developing nations in the Caribbean, Asia and Eastern Europe over the past 12 years. The relationships cultivated within these travels inspire the choice of figure(s) in each painting. Concurrently, the figure(s) functions as a metaphor; specifically changing within each painting to represent the different emotions associated with displacement; a member of a specific tribe and no tribe at all - a native of the dispossessed. Once the painting is completed, there is a sense of the figure(s) being at one and at odds with its context; a feeling of displacement and belonging all at once. This tension exists within each painting as it does within the actual experience it is based on.