Dellamarie Parrilli, is an American artist, “a born master of her medium”, and is recognized as one of the most talented contemporary abstract painters painting today. A self-taught artist; whose work is wide ranging, ever changing, and restlessly experimental. “Her prior extensive background in music and dance is reflected in her work. She has transformed that creativity from the stage to the studio where she literally sings and dances on her canvases with a joie de vivre that she shares with us,” creating paintings that are “inspirational, illuminating, and transcendent of the ordinary.” (Nancy di Benedetto, Professor, Marymount Manhattan College, Lecturer, Metropolitan Museum of Art, August 2002)
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 ended 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 three 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, improv at Second City, and funded her education 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.” 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.
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.
The recipient of numerous awards and included in numerous privateand corporate collections. Parrilli’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. including solo exhibitions at the Walter Wickiser Gallery, NY, The Ezair Gallery, NY, Marymount College, NY, Preston Contemporary Art Center, NM, The Fine Arts Building Chicago. She has participated in many juried and invitational group exhibitions including those at the Florence Biennial of Contemporary Art, Florence, Italy, Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN, and Cork Gallery, NY.
“Parrilli is outrageously gifted with unstoppable creativity” “Abstraction: from geometric to the lyrical, from the precise to the raw”. (Ann Landi, Contributing Editor of ARTnews , Author of Schrimer Encyclopedia of Art)Working in oil, acrylic, watercolor, and mixed media on polycarbon, she is “a restless and intrepid experimenter who refuses to limit her aesthetic horizons. Parrilli’s paintings are possessed of a singular grandeur which sets her apart as an artist who appears destined to endure. Parrilli’s is a “voice” that will not be silenced. ” (Ed McCormack , Editor-in-Chief of Gallery & Studio, New York, NY 2009, Former writer for Village Voice and Rolling Stone)