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Australian-Italian artist, Melissa La Bozzetta 

Meet Melissa La Bozzetta, an Australian-Italian artist with paintings and sculptures featured in the Louvre, Italy and New York - and so popular there is a waitlist for nude portraits at her Melbourne gallery, 


Melissa started drawing when she was four because she was rarely allowed to go out and play with other children. That passion continued throughout her life, and she became a well-known international artist.

"I found solace, freedom, and strength in my art. As a teenager, my room was covered wall to wall in art. Each creation helped me work through a lot of pain that I carried and helped build my resilience," she said.


Melissa met her husband, ex-Premier League footballer Steve Mautone, in a Melbourne cafe. Steve played for West Ham and Reading. Upon retiring overseas, Steve became Melbourne Victory’s Goalkeeper Coach for 10 years, winning 3 premierships in his time at Victory.


“After we had our twins, I started to paint again when they were around eight months old. Steve would come home and find the babies and walls covered in specs of paint," Melissa said.


Australians flock to her gallery in Prahran to commission nude self-portraits, feeling liberated in their stories and journeys being told through art. Melissa has male and female clients of all ages, but she has cultivated a significant demand for women wanting nude self-portraits.  


Like the personal expression found through tattoo artwork, Melissa is often asked to work words that symbolise their story, into the portraits.

“Half of my artwork sold is nudes, and half is abstract pieces. My abstract pieces help me reconnect to my Italian Heritage, which is interwoven with my life and home in Australia,” Melissa said.


Each abstract canvas becomes a portal to her memories and dreams of life in Italy, interwoven with the beauty and sense of belonging she has found and fallen in love with here in Melbourne.


Melissa was also recognised as the first Australian Ambassador to represent the Internationally renowned Non-Violence Foundation, to which she contributed a blue and gold ‘knotted gun’ sculpture titled ‘Ocean of Love’.

The blue represents an ocean of trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence and faith, and the gold represents countries worldwide, as the master healer.


Having built an international following on Instagram, Melissa’s art captured notable attention and was selected to be featured in the Louvre. Her art is now in Singulart, a French gallery, as well as in Rome, New York, and Melbourne, Australia.

Melissa plans to open her own galleries in Paris and Rome within the next year.




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