2021 M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition: Melissa Huang, "I'm Your Perfect Girl"

The Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design Gallery is pleased to present the Annual Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition Series, March 22 - April 23, 2021.

Our MFA exhibitions are a highly anticipated annual spring series of solo shows that are presented in fulfillment of the Master of Fine Arts degree at the Welch School of Art & Design at Georgia State University, Atlanta. You will enjoy viewing these shows which are the culmination of three years of research and art making.

Admission is free with timed e-ticket. Masks and a minimum of 6 feet of social distancing are required. A maximum of 10 visitors per 30 minute time slot is permitted in the galleries.

Born in Chicago, IL, Melissa Huang received her BFA in Fine Arts Studio from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Currently, Melissa attends Georgia State University for her MFA in Drawing and Painting (expected May 2021). Her surreal oil paintings, prints, and sculptures explore digitally constructed bodies and identities. Melissa is an Appraiser of Fine Art with a background working in galleries, museums, and archives. Her work has been featured in publications including Fresh Paint Magazine, Art House Press, and Stone Canoe. Melissa is a founding member of the Politits Art Coalition, a feminist art group that exhibits collaboratively and curates an annual Women’s Work exhibition. You can see more of Melissa’s artwork on Instagram (@melissahuangart).

"In my paintings and prints I explore multiplicity of identity. The way you are perceived and the way you present yourself changes from person to person. A different version of you exists in the minds of your family, friends, colleagues, strangers, and digital audience; none of which encompass your complete identity. Rather, each of these fragments come together to paint a fuller picture of 'you'."

"I’m fascinated by the ways in which we construct these identities. Contemporary culture is obsessed with perfection, and digital image manipulation has blurred the lines between reality and the idealized self, creating an unsettling gap between who we really are and how we wish to be perceived. Much of our public image has become simulacra, representations of ourselves stripped of personal meaning and imbued with culturally constructed meaning."

"Image editing apps, deepfake technology, simple photo editing software, and more have made it possible to construct an entirely new you that only exists through social media and digital means. I engage with this concept in my series of channel shift paintings, in which I use Photoshop to create warped, ghostly second images of the self, then captured in oil paint. By translating these digital manipulations into the oil medium I relate our current obsession with images of the self to the long history of the portrait painting tradition."

"The average person is no longer able to identify when images of bodies have been digitally edited to achieve a naturally unattainable goal. By creating layered paintings pairing more representational versions of a person with translucent, distorted imagery, I am engaging with this culture of digitally attaining otherwise unreachable perfection. There is both a connection and divide between the real and performative self. Without one, the other would not exist."

Friday, April 9, 2021 at 10:00am to 6:00pm

Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design 10 Peachtree Center Ave SE Atlanta, GA 30303

Event Type

Arts & Humanities, Exhibit, Fine Arts


Atlanta Campus

Colleges and Schools

College of the Arts


Students, Faculty/Staff, Alumni, Public, Emeriti

Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design
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