Canadian, Toronto-based pop artist Michelle Vella is known for her colourful, bold and energetic portrayals of pop culture icons and things. With a degree in fine arts and a history working in graphic design, she made a career change in 2015 to pursue art full-time. Instagram propelled near instant success of her wide big eye portraits on the NY fashion scene. She soon began painting on large square canvases, selling her portraits of such pop icons as Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, and Twiggy to collectors worldwide. In 2021, Vella began exploring a new style of big eyes with a quasi-realistic technique and she began painting pop iconography like a retro box of Kraft Dinner, to the spinner from the game of Twister. Michelle is bursting with fun ideas and can hardly paint fast enough.
Vella has had an aptitude for drawing since she was young enough to hold a crayon. Since childhood, she’s always been considered the talented artist in her class. Graduating university with a Fine Arts BA in 1986, “the starving artist stigma did not sit well with my entrepreneurial spirit.” So, with that, she pursued art related careers and some not so related, allowing her to develop skills in sales, marketing and business. Thirty years into her career, Vella chose to become an artist and has since been noticed by several notable celebrities and collectors.
Vella has participated in art fairs and solo art shows as an independent gallery and dealer across Canada and the United States, and most recently exhibited at Aqua Art Miami during Art Basel 2019. She has collectors throughout Canada, the United States and internationally.
Vella has been featured in several other well-known Canadian and American national publications, including The Washington Post, CNN Style, ELLE Canada, FASHION Magazine, W Magazine and Harper’s BAZAAR Thailand. She has appeared on The Marilyn Denis Show, CityLine, TSC’s Style Matters with Jeanne Beker, and The Feminist Perspective with Dr. Sophia Johnson NYC.