We had the good fortune of connecting with Dellamarie Parrilli and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dellamarie, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
Success is an abstract notion. A relative term. Success means something different to everyone. So, we must first ignore how other people define success and define success for ourselves. I define success as doing what you love! follow your dream. I have always said, find the work that is play and then play your hardest. If you really love what you do, you’re never working.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
We all have stories of our journey … Our life paths … My life has been marked by tragedy and adversity. So much so, that i have written a screenplay! Born in Chicago, three months premature, i began my life fighting to survive. During my youth, my father was killed by a drunk driver, and three months later, my family, surviving a devastating house fire, were left homeless. Only 11 years old at the time, I embraced my creativity … music, writing and ART … I HAD FOUND MY VOICE. While earning a BA in music from DePaul University, i studied tap, jazz and ballet, improv at Second City, and funded my education doing theater, voice-overs, and singing in clubs. I was heralded by the Las Vegas Press as a “triple threat” and delivered a performance in Chicago so powerful that the Chicago Independent Bulletin called me “The greatest talent since Judy Garland at her peak “. I set my sights on Broadway, and spent the next five years giving birth to “JUDY: The Songs And Stories Of A Legend.” As i was about to realize my Broadway dream, fate stepped in. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and Sjorgren’s Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease … Doctors told me i would never sing again. I emerged from this devastating period, with my spirit strong and my love of life undiminished, and i turned my voice, “ triumphantly resonant” to my artwork. 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. Over the years I have used and experimented with many techniques, always searching for greater freedom of expression. My paintings are abstract expressionistic, chromatic fireworks, creating 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. 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 explores Zen states of formlessness, the energetic layers of life and dissolves the narrow definitions of self. Over the years Critics have written and compared my work to that of the masters: “Parrilli brings a breath of fresh air to the contemporary art scene. Technically a born master … she literally sings and dances on her canvases with a joie de vivre that she shares with us.” “One can’t help but marvel at the breath and depth of her painterly vocabulary – her brilliant freshness, remarkable virtuosity, vibrant colors, sumptuous paint surfaces, and her innate musicality, as well as her triumphant spiritual resonance”. “ Recognized as one of the most talented contemporary abstract painters painting today, Parrilli “ continues in the creative tradition of her artistic forbearers, Kandinsky, de Kooning, Pollock, Tobey, and even early Rothko, but from her own unique perspective and introspective vision.” “A restless 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 destined to endure … a voice that will not be silenced. “ What i know, is that i will continue to create, for it is my life; it is the blood that runs through me!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love los angeles and hollywood with the unlimited choices for fun and entertainment! when not in my studio or showroom working i am exploring and enjoying! a few of my favorites are: H Club in Hollywood … LACMA … Party like a celebrity at the Chateau Marmont … Picnic on the grass at the Getty Center, inspiring and majestic views. Stroll through secret gardens, hidden from the concrete sprawl there are several magical secret gardens – there is the James Irvine Japanese Garden, inspired by the Zen gardens of Kyoto – and the Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens, wander the gardens and challenge your spacial intelligence while walking the labyrinth. I adore Pizzeria Mozza. I always order the same thing – marinated baby peppers with tuna, pane bianco with extra olive oil, and the Ocean Trout with Braised Swiss chard, green olive & Meyer lemon relish. I also love Rao’s Hollywood, Cleo … I’m making myself hungry!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
great question! there have been many incredible influencers in my life through the years – all strong, remarkable women! but, i can say, without hesitation, that it was my mother Jean who inspired me and was the foundation of all that i am today. She was a petite dynamo, ahead of her time and far from typical. She was full of joy, laughter, courage and strength. I watched and learned as she turned tragedies into triumphs, not realizing at the time that i, too, would face many tragedies. Life is a roller coaster, isn’t it! just as i was about to realize my Broadway dream, in the blink of an eye, i went from being called “the greatest talent since Garland at her peak” … To someone, dream shattered, locked in a cell of silence. In time, i emerged from this devastating period, my spirit strong and my love of life undiminished … And turned my ‘voice’ to the canvas. I had found a new stage. I was able to transform my creativity from the stage to my art studio. New york critics have written, “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.” i believe it is our reaction to adversity as well as success that distinguishes us. My strong foundation, a foundation of resilience and adaptability, as well as what critics have called “my unstoppable creativity” has allowed me, just as my mother had, to triumph over adversity. I would also like to recognize with a Shoutout to Anne Perillo, my vocal coach and professor at DePaul University School of Music, Chicago. She was another strong creative influence in my life. A brilliant international opera singer and professor, who supported and encouraged me through the tragedies and triumphs … We are friends and in touch to this day. Another woman who was instrumental to my art career was Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman. She was collecting American Abstract Expressionistic art in the late 1940’s, works by such masters as Jackson Pollock, willem de Kooning, Franz Kline to name a few. Her collection hangs today in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ours was a chance meeting; fate, if you will. I was having my first art exhibition, a solo in Chicago at the Fine Arts Building. The most intriguing woman kept coming up to me and talking. We walked from painting to painting talking. At one point she said, “i don’t collect art anymore, but if i did, i would buy all of your purple paintings.” At the time, i did not know who she was!!! i thought she was precious and sweet! we exchanged contact information and made plans for a studio visit. Can you imagine my surprise … My delight … The complete affirmation that i was on the right path … When i discovered who she was! another Shoutout to Ann Landi, art critic, Contributing Editor of ARTnews , Author of Schrimer Encyclopedia of Art, who has collected my work and has followed my career from my new york days. She has been a source of inspiration over the years and has called me ” an impresario of expressionism” and ” Parrilli, is outrageously gifted, with unstoppable creativity.” I applaud all of the woman who have made such an impression and contribution to my life!
Website: www.parrilli.com, www.ParrilliWear.com
Other: Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dellamarie_Parrilli