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Check out Dellamarie Parrilli’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dellamarie Parrilli.

“Parrilli’s spirit as well as her art is compelling.”

Human interest stories can be risky, even irrelevant, when it comes to evaluating the work of a serious painter. Thus one is tempted to skip over the fact that Parrilli, who was born in Chicago, turned to painting after a life threatening illness curtailed her promising career as an entertainer. Yet the musicality, as well as the triumphant spiritual resonance, in Parrilli’s canvases is such that one feels compelled to at least mention such biographical facts before attempting to describe the more tangible physical qualities that make her canvases so compelling; for there is a commonly held belief in critic’s circles that true art is born out of human struggle.

Parrilli’s life has been marked by tragedy and adversity. Born in Chicago, nine weeks premature, she began her life fighting to survive. During her youth, Parrilli’s father was killed by a drunk driver, and 3 months later, her family, surviving a devastating house fire, were left homeless. Parrilli, only 11 years old at the time, embraced her creativity … music, writing, and art … she had found her voice.

While earning a BA in music from DePaul University, Parrilli studied tap, jazz and ballet, improve at Second City, and funded her education by doing theater, voice-overs and singing in clubs. Heralded by the Las Vegas Press as a “triple threat” and delivering a performance in Chicago so powerful that the Chicago Independent Bulletin called her “The greatest talent since Judy Garland at her peak” … Parrilli set her sights on Broadway, and spent the next five years giving birth to “JUDY: The Songs And Stories Of A Legend.” But as she was about to realize her dream, fate stepped in. Diagnosed with Lyme disease and Sjorgren’s Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease, doctors told her she would never sing again. Her Broadway dream and life as she knew it came to an abrupt end.

Parrilli, a born survivor, emerged from this devastating period, spirit strong and her love of life undiminished, turning her voice, “triumphantly resonant” to her artwork.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Intuitive! Musical! Joyful! Playful! Passionate! Poetic!

I create to share myself and my passion … to connect with others and invite dialogue. I express from sources within, interested in exploring “interiors” … emotional, spiritual, and psychological. Events in my personal life have naturally influenced my work, accentuating my vision, points of view, human values, and poetic content. For me, life and art are one and the same! I live in the moment … I create in the moment! I explore beyond the horizon, beyond the circumstance, beyond the detours and roadblocks. I simply allow the creative process the freedom it needs and must have …

I am an adventurous and constantly evolving painter … working in all mediums to create my characteristic chromatic fireworks, I have worked on canvas in oil, acrylic, mixed media, watercolor, and recently, mixed media on translucent sheeting and acrylic cubes. Over the years I have used and experimented with many techniques, always searching for greater freedom of expression.

These techniques and strategies have included thick, scrambled textures achieved with a palette knife, or building surfaces by pouring and layering skeins of diluted oil paint on my canvases, I have enjoyed a Pollock-like dance of drips and skeins of paint in colors that would have flabbergasted Jackson; I enjoy the Surrealist language of biomorphic imagery; and have explored working in mixed media on translucent sheeting (plastic film) creating near-transparent panes and shards of paint into works that have the glowing translucence of stained glass which have evolved into panels, free-form cut out mixed-media assemblages/sculptures and three-dimensional objects, enchanting obelisks and cubes.

My art explores Zen states of formlessness, the energetic layers of life, and dissolve the narrow definitions of self.

My paintings are abstract expressionistic, a synthesis of feelings and ideas that establish a reality that is accessible to all. I explore that which comes from and projects itself toward infinity by creating a depth of dimension, through layered brush strokes, vibrant, sometimes subtle, superimposing images upon images to give the illusion of translucence and immateriality, emphasizing the emergence of interplaying worlds, visual ideas and visions.

I am open and responsive to recurring impulses, integrating poetic content, human values and the senses as I continue to explore emotions through my paintings. My work mirrors my own expressive and conceptual maturity. I am inspired by the realm of the subconscious including the spiritual, combined with a modern approach and preoccupation with psychology and introspection. I am drawn to that which establishes the continuity of existence and drives on toward the truth and totality of experience, engaging the senses while allowing the exploration of the viewer’s own inner reality.

My art is impressive, my ‘story’ inspiring.

I have found it easiest to allow what has been written about me to explain me and my art:

“Parrilli doesn’t fit easily into known categories, although her work is every bit as up-to-the-minute as anything emerging from Bushwick, Brooklyn, the latest enclave of hot young artists. Parrilli, is outrageously gifted, with unstoppable creativity …”

“Her work partakes of many strategies that have become familiar in the art of the recent past: spontaneous gestures, working in mediums of oil, acrylic, and watercolor with palette knife or brushes, or deploying a drip-and-spatter technique; she does a Pollock-like dance of drips and skeins of paint in colors that would have flabbergasted Jackson; she has a way with a Surrealist language of biomorphic imagery; she organizes near-transparent panes and shards of paint into works that have the glowing translucence of stained glass, and recently has made free-form mixed-media assemblages on polycarbon, which have evolved into three-dimensional objects … … … but the hot colors (this gal has no fear of neon) and free-form imagery are all her own … … … and a PARRILLI is always recognizably a PARRILLI ”.
Ann Landi, 2014, Contributing Editor of ARTnews,
Author of Schrimer Encyclopedia of Art

“The flow of Parrilli’s massive abstract forms, executed in the unusual medium of watercolor on canvas possess a unique luminosity, abetted by a combination of majestic scale, chromatic subtlety and tonal delicacy that eludes even “poured paint” Color Field painters like Helen Frankenthaler, Paul Jenkins, and Morris Louis. A dynamic “wet into wet” technique send liquidic areas of blue and purple hues rippling out from large circular and semicircular shapes in a manner that creates the illusion that the pools of diluted aquarelle are still in active motion. Indeed the entire series is characterized by a sense of flux, the graceful movement of filmy veils of color dancing on the picture plane, its two- dimensional flatness opened up and imbued with a sense of depth by Parrilli’s multilayered approach to washes of vibrant color”.

“A more familiar facet of this versatile artist’s ever expanding oeuvre ––
at least to her long-term critical champions and collectors –– can be seen in Parrilli’s recent acrylic paintings on canvas. These untitled large-scale compositions, ranging from 72 by 60 inches upwards to 72 by 108 inches, absorb and update the entire coloristic and tactile vocabulary of Abstract Expressionism for the postmodern era on the scale to which it has the most impact. One such work employs muscular juicy pink red, blue, and white strokes broad enough to have been painted with a broom rather than with an ordinary brush. They swerve, swirl and interlock dynamically in thick coloristically variegated areas of heavy impasto with an energy akin to de Kooning”.

“Parrilli, a singer -dancer, before a life threatening illness aborted her entertainment career … biographical information relevant only because of the bearing it has on the energy and grace that she brings to her visual art. Indeed, Dellamarie Parrilli is still very much of the singer – dancer”.
Ed McCormack , Editor-in-Chief of Gallery & Studio, New York, NY 2014, Former writer for Village Voice and Rolling Stone,

“Parrilli Lights Up Madison Avenue … Parrilli continues to climb toward the Light and to celebrate the divine in an oeuvre which seems to grow more radiant with each succeeding exhibition. Indeed, her power as a colorist is such that it often appears that she has dipped her brush in liquid light rather than physical pigment.
Former Ed McCormack , Editor-in-Chief of Gallery & Studio, New York, NY 2008, writer for Village Voice and Rolling Stone

“Parrilli is one of those rare artists who comes at things from another direction, proceeding intuitively with nary a glance at the art magazines to see which way the winds of change might be blowing. Her intuitive approach springs directly from her life experience in a way that it is not common amid the self-conscious strategizing of the postmodern era. Without expecting an artist so restlessly experimental to settle into complacency or stop surprising us with each new exhibition, it seems safe to say that Parrilli’s visual vocabulary seems indicative of a mature direction … it is clear that the exquisite simplicity she has achieved signals a profound arrival.”
Ed McCormack , Editor-in-Chief of Gallery & Studio, New York, NY 2009, Former writer for Village Voice and Rolling Stone

“Hoping to capture impressions of transparency, “layers of life and spirit and motion,” Parrilli, who lives in a world surrounded by light and air, water and sky, set off on a quest to find and create an analogue for the luminosity of the natural world … using an industrial material for a ground and experimenting with mixed media Parrilli has created surfaces over which light ripples and refracts and an imagery that appears to be infused with a different level of drama and intensity than can be attained through traditional means. Taking brave chances: enlarging her vocabulary, expanding her chromatic choices, and experimenting with innovative techniques to pursue her personal vision … Parrilli’s new works do indeed take one into a realm suffused with radiant light.”
-Ann Landi, 2009
Contributing Editor of ARTnews, Author of Schrimer Encyclopedia of Art

“Dellamarie Parrilli brings a breath of fresh air to the contemporary art scene! Virtuostic compositions open up windows to the world and define a greater sense of reality…a born master of her medium…her compositions have a spontaneity that is contagious and immediately envelopes and excites…bold, radiant colors leap from the canvas…she literally sings and dances on her canvas…continues tradition of de Kooning, Kandinsky, Mitchell, but from her own unique perspective and introspective vision with a joie de vivre that she shares with us. We are lucky indeed to welcome her into the mainstream of contemporary American art.”
Nancy di Benedetto, Professor, Marymount Manhattan College, Lecturer, Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Parrilli orchestrates the canvas in the best tradition of the Abstract Expressionists who elevated American painting to preeminence in the art world by emulating the improvisational methods of jazz musicians. One of the most worthy successors of these “action painters,” Parrilli generates visual excitement… Her broad layered strokes, laid down with a palette knife knitting together her compositions with a muscular thrust, provide her signature contribution to the tradition. Parrilli’s synthesis of subjective emotion and natural inspiration imbues her compositions with a powerful lyricism and triumphant spiritual resonance.”
Ed McCormack, Editor-in-Chief of Gallery & Studio, New York, NY, Former writer for Village Voice and Rolling Stone

“Dellamarie Parrilli utilizes the density of abstraction in order to create an intricate link between color, concept and emotion. Traces of thick, swift brush strokes cover the surface of each canvas giving way to sporadic bursts of color that lend shape to deep, metaphysical ideas. Not overly concerned with realistic representations, the artist’s subject is both her own inner feelings and the viewer. Parrilli’s work is clearly hermeneutic yet it reaches out to the observant eye through the layers of color intensity. Parrilli flawlessly demonstrates an expertise that can reflect a thorough assessment of what lies within.”
Jill Conner, NY Writer, NY Arts, Contemporary Sculpture, Artnet.com, Art Papers and New Art Examiner, Member of International Association of Art Critic

“That Parrilli achieves a similar chromatic intensity and mystical resonance with the traditional medium of oil makes her work all the more remarkable. Indeed, few painters come close to her ability to infuse color with luminosity. Coupled with her chromatic sensitivity, Parrilli possesses a natural gestural fluidity that enhances the immediacy of her canvases immeasurably, imbuing her compositions with rhythmic vigor and vitality. Her painterly vocabulary is so varied as to seem virtually unlimited. Parrilli is a restless and intrepid experimenter who refuses to limit her aesthetic horizons. Intricate overall compositions…lyrical color…bold strokes…coloristically complex…symphonic in visual terms…all off Dellamarie Parrilli’s paintings are possessed of a singular grandeur which sets her apart as an artist who appears destined to endure.”
Ed McCormack, Editor-in-Chief of Gallery & Studio, New York, NY, Former writer of Village Voice and Rolling Stone

“In everything Dellamarie Parrilli does the beauty of composition seems to be her top concern. Parrilli who brought art to her music is now bringing music to her art and the songs are as lovely as ever.”
Edward Rubin, NY Art Writer, NY Art Examiner, Member of International Association of Art Critics

“Chicago-based artist Dellamarie Parrilli brings a breath of fresh air to the contemporary art scene! An aura of spirituality is pervasive which exuded an uplifting feeling of transcendence and fearlessness. She achieves all this by using bold, radiant colors that leap from the canvas with a mastery of confident brush strokes. Her virtuostic compositions open up windows to the world and define a greater sense of reality. Technically, she is a born master of her medium. She uses no preliminary sketches thus her compositions have a spontaneity that is contagious and immediately envelopes and excites the viewer. We are lucky indeed to welcome her into the mainstream of contemporary American art.”

Nancy diBenedetto, Professor, Marymount Manhattan College, Lecturer, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
To connect with others through my art and invite dialogue, inner exploration, and journeys.

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