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BBC NEWS Reports on Paul Mellia's latest Exhibition

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BBC NEWS ~ 22nd October 2010.

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'His unique brand of "super realism" has won him admirers across the world - from rock stars to royalty - and now he is bringing it to Birmingham.

British artist Paul Mellia has chosen St. Pauls Gallery to show his entire collection for the first time in his only exhibition in the UK in 2010.

Mellia's distinctive 3-D style is created using air-brushing with acrylics and oil painting by hand.

The "Icons with Attitude" exhibition runs from 22 October until December.

Celebrity fans

Among Mellia's fans are the graffiti artist Banksy, Motley Crew drummer Tommy Lee, Lisa Marie Presley and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Chat show host Jonathan Ross has also commissioned Mellia's work.

So how would the man himself describe his style? Mellia's work includes superheroes and famous cartoon characters
"Most people look at it and think it's a photograph. It's super-real, 3-Dimensional and that's what the art gives," Paul told BBC WM.

"As I child I could make an image look 3-dimensional and that was my way of making the image talk."

St. Pauls Gallery beat off competition from a host of venues around the UK and Paul said there was a simple reason why they came to Birmingham.

"We've had five or six galleries in London who wanted to get involved but chose Birmingham because of the unpretentiousness.

Why Birmingham?

"The guys are really normal sort of guys and they appreciate what I do. They sold what I'm all about really - being down to earth - so that was a big pull for me."

Neil Robinson is a curator at St. Pauls Gallery and he is thrilled Paul decided to bring his collection.

"It's great. Paul dropped in and said he loved the space," he said.

Paul's work can fetch anything from £300 to £30,000 and Neil Robinson said he expected the pictures to appeal to wide range of people.

"When you see them, the superheroes, the super-realism chrome ladies, the cars and motorbikes, it evokes everything," Neil added.