Profiles Visual Arts

A Painter’s New Path

“Here Comes The Sun,” 2023, 22″x 28″, acrylic on plastic

Dellamarie Parrilli takes courageous chances as she travels new creative trails, making three dimensional paintings without the use of computer reproduction or preliminary drawings, the fresh works stemming from her mining of emotions from the deep well of her life’s tough experiences. Her artwork could illustrate the great, late singer/songwriter John Prine’s lyrics that ‘livin’ is just a hard way to go,’ Parrilli honors our eyes with her rough-cut visual jewels sparking our intuitive responses to her incandescent heart.

After an autoimmune disease dashed her original dream of becoming a stage performer, she was forced to take an alternative career path as a result, after permanently losing her singing voice. She transcended this serious setback by picking up brush and palette knife and without training or knowledge of painters, began creating dynamic abstract expressionist canvases intimating works by de Kooning, Pollock and other giants of this explosive artistic genre. Now, painting could link her unvarnished feelings with the public as she makes bold statements of survival, intuitively moving bright colors across the picture planes, taking viewers on forceful visual imaginative journeys.

Her current pieces involve applying paint with brush and palette knife, scraping and building on strata of plastic and canvas in impasto and wash techniques, pouring pigment and stroking calligraphic marks on the surfaces for a distinctive painterliness. Her hand and arm are her means of realizing the works as she paints mesmerizing, layered images on surfaces, results devoid of any mechanical interventions. We view raw and ambiguous visuals ending any illusions of emotional stasis we may have had before seeing the new work.

Her art-making techniques are significant because Parrilli’s new painting process is directly related to the numerous layers of media in the pieces, the brushed forms imbued with primal physicality that we respond to deeply. 3D printed artwork alters our conventional view of the world around us, and resultant pieces can be sculptural but constrained by the uniformity of the mechanical means of production.

“Walk Me Through This World,” 2023, 22″ x 28″, acrylic on plastic

In contrast, Parrilli’s 3D pieces eschew machine-driven images and consequently, her artistic results are honest and personal involvements in the creative process. A two-dimensional picture becomes a 3D immersive viewing experience where we are nearly part of the piece, directly facing it without use of augmented reality devices or AI. Our viewing is not a perfunctory glance while scrolling down a screen; instead, we confront what is really before our eyes, taking in the work on the level of feeling rather than as entertainment, technology not surpassing art’s intrinsic wonderful value.

Black calligraphic marks are Parrilli’s autobiographical tropes, symbols of self-actualization while she cleverly employs her use of apt titles for her robust visuals. The painting Shattering Glass Ceilings is one way she integrates formidable emotional energies where dark quick dashes balance with primary-colored pigments, conveying her serious creative motivations for artmaking.

Use of black gestures take a solemn turn in three red, white, and black pieces, The Day the Music Died, Self Portrait and Self Portrait-Final Performance where Parrilli tackles her feelings about losing her voice as a performer. The self-portraits have ghostly auras to their white abstract countenances diverging with the intense black and red agitated brushstrokes underscoring Parrilli’s tragic loss of her trained vocal creative outlet.

Elatedly, she counters the pessimism of these self-portraits in Here Comes the Sun, dispelling her sorry brume with painted images of emotional relief. The lone yellow sunlit circle at the center of the composition testifies to her victory over hard times, the bright abstract disc an optimistic burst of yellow in a painting where saturated reds and blues otherwise prevail.

Walk Me Through This World can also be viewed as the artist’s emotional release from negativity. Here, calligraphic marks are lightly and evenly drawn amid a lush verdancy, the renderings, traces of green subtle footprints near bold impasto rivers of white, while leafy washed pinks juxtapose in the composition; the translucent forms overlaying milky white grounds, immerse us in the piece as swimmers dive into a luxe chromatic sea.

These novel works convey Dellamarie Parrilli’s indubitable self-knowledge in fresh ways as her three-dimensional visuals are vehicles for a spirited soul, acquainting us anew with pieces of innovative sensibilities graced by this noteworthy painter’s brush. G&S

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