Melanie Bonajo was born in 1978 in Heerlen. She studied from 1998 to 2002 at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. In 2009 and 2010 she had a residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.
She has won several awards with her art, like the MKaward in 2013 and the PUP award in 2007. She has had several solo exhibitions at for instance Mediamatic in Amsterdam (2008), Museum for Modern Art in Ljubljana, Slovenia (2007), in PPOW Gallery in New York (2009 and 2013) and the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht (2018).
She participated in group exhibitions such as Still/Life. Dutch Contemporary Photography in FOAM, Amsterdam (2014) and Female Power in Museum Arnhem (2013). In 2016 she participated in the group show What We Have Overlooked at Framer Framed in Amsterdam.