Dellamarie Parrilli

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Dellamarie Parrilli
Dellamarieparrilli headshot.jpg
Born Dellamarie Parrilli
(1949-02-28) February 28, 1949 (age 68)
Nationality American/Italian
Education DePaul University
Known for Visual Arts
Movement Abstract Expressionist

Dellamarie Parrilli is an American visual artist and record producer, and former singer, variety show performer, and restaurateur. As a painter and visual artist, she is noted for her evolving, self-taught abstract style that encompasses numerous genres and media. Parrilli's art has received numerous successful gallery exhibitions in prestigious art galleries throughout the United States and Europe, particularly in Chicago and New York. As a record producer, she is best known as the executive producer of the album Angels Bend Closer (2016) by Canadian singer/songwriter Jane Siberry.

Early career[edit]

Parrilli began singing at age 11 after her father was killed by a drunk driver. She developed a Judy Garland-style voice,[1] and graduated from DePaul University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music.[2] Under the stage name "Dellamarie", Parrilli headlined at the Sahara in Las Vegas in 1979,[3] and produced and performed a one-woman variety show act that a contemporary review noted to be influenced by "Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli and Jacques Brel".[4] Parrilli released a private-issue LP entitled Dellamaire which featured a six-song Judy Garland medley and a collection of standards and showtunes.[5]

In 1992, Parrilli's show "Judy: The Songs and Stories of a Legend" was about to open on Broadway, when Parrilli was diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome and Lyme Disease. The two conditions left her unable to sing, and abruptly ended her singing and performance career.[1][6]

In 1998, Parrilli and a partner opened a restaurant in Chicago named Hoxie's,[6] which won the Chicago Tribune Dining Poll for "Best New Restaurant" one month after it opened.[7] The restaurant closed in 2000,[8] after Parrilli contracted a deadly bacterial infection resulting from wounds incurred from two successive dog attacks.[6] After her recovery, Parrilli suffered a bronchial infection from toxic mold that was discovered in her home.[1]

As visual artist[edit]

Parrilli turned to art as a full time pursuit after her bouts with illness. Parrilli's first public art exhibition was held at the Fine Arts Building Gallery in Chicago in February 2002,[6] and was followed by long run of exhibitions in New York and Chicago.[1] Parrilli's art has received numerous awards, and her work is featured in numerous private and corporate collections throughout the United States.[9]

Art critic Ed McCormack described Parrilli's self-taught style as "adventurous and constantly evolving",[10] and Schirmer Encyclopedia of Art author Ann Landi noted that Parrilli had "developed her own expressionist vocabulary," while also noting the "obvious sophistication and parallels with mainstream modernism" that distinguished her work.[11] NY Arts magazine praised Parrilli on her "audacity to tackle seemingly worn-out formulas, to give them a mighty shake, and to conjure something that is all her own."[12]

Evolution of style[edit]

Parrilli's early works (circa 2002-2004) utilized oils that were applied with "staccato pallet knife strokes", and were often characterized by the frequent use of a "distinctive violet hue."[13] McCormack called her "one of the most worthy successors to the action painters," and noted that her use of saturated color "conveys the sensation of light rather than inert pigment".[13] Curator Ruthie Tucker claimed that Parrilli's early work "express[es] the struggle with light and color," and "achieves a rarity in the genre of abstract painting: she creates art that is inherently dynamic and meditative."[14] Parrilli opted to work directly on the canvas without utilizing preliminary sketches,[13] which created a spontaneity that Metropolitan Museum of Art lecturer Nancy di Benedetto claimed "flows and pulsates with a resonance from the world around her."[15] di Benedetto also pointed out the strong influence of Parrilli's performing career upon her early art, stating that Parrilli "literally sings and dances on the canvases."[16]

By 2007, Parrilli's style continued to use oils, but had changed to a layered pour and drip technique. Although created in a style similar to Jackson Pollock,[10] this period of Parrilli's work also dabbled in a style that alluded to Asian screen painting,[12] and included a set of paintings that were "dominated by large, bold areas of bright primaries."[10] Parrilli continued to utilize the violet hues she favored previously, as well as bright colors in "unlikely-yet-complimentary color combinations" that prompted McCormack to comment that "it often appears that she has dipped her brush in liquid light rather than physical pigment."[10]

Parrilli's fascination with light would gain even more prominence as her art developed.[10] In 2008, Parrilli began a nine-month search to find materials conducive to conveying an even stronger luminescence. This search led Parrilli to find and use a polycarbonate[17] sheeting normally used for industrial purposes. This set of polycarbon based works continued to draw influence from Eastern painting techniques, "embrac[ing] both Eastern and Western picture-making strategies without coming down firmly on one side or the other."[11]

In the 2010s, Parrilli moved to Los Angeles, where she employed even more disparate and unusual media and techniques. As of 2014, her Los Angeles-based work operates in several separate and distinct styles, those being three-dimensional polycarbon on acrylic cubes; large watercolors on canvas with added acrylic textures and/or "wet on wet" painting techniques; and similarly large acrylic on canvas paintings that McCormack described as "muscular and "juicy", with enormous paint strokes "broad enough to have been painted with a broom rather than an ordinary brush."[17]


Parrilli's exhibitions include:[6][9][10][11][12][13][18][19][20]

Solo Exhibitions
  • 2002 "Reflections: Journeys Within And Beyond", (solo), Fine Arts Building Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • 2003 "Seeing The Light", (2 person), Marymount Manhattan College Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2004 "Journey Into Color", (2 person), Gallery 415, Chicago, IL
  • 2006 "Between Here … And There", (solo), Ezair Gallery, Southampton, New York
  • 2007 "Rhapsodic Abstractions: Variations On A Theme", (solo), Ezair Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2008 "Into The Light", (solo) Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2009 "Jackson Pollock Meets Bette Midler" The Palmer Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • 2009 "Beyond Barriers", The Palmer Gallery, Chicago, IL
Group Exhibitions
  • 2002 "Chelsea Global Competition", Amsterdam Whitney Fine Art Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2003 "Viridian Affiliate Artists", exhibition, Viridian Artists, New York, NY; Vernita Nemec, Director
  • 2004 "Chicago Art Open", National Vietnam Veterans Museum, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & The Chicago Office Of Tourism, in association with Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago, IL
  • 2005 "Abstract Impressions", CCT Gallery, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
  • 2006 "Evocative Expressions", Cork Gallery, Lincoln Center For The Performing Arts, NY
  • 2007 "Biennale Internazionale Dell'arte Contemporanea", Fortezza da Basso, Florence, Italy
  • 2009 "Moscow International Festival of Art—Traditions and Contemporaneity", Moscow, Russia
  • 2009 "Visual Interpretations" GalleriaZero, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2009 "Lush Xhibit", Preston Contemporary Art Center, Misilla, New Mexico

Honors and awards[edit]

Some honors and awards worn by Parrilli are:[1][9][13][21]

  • 2002: Richard W. and Wanda Gardner Memorial Award for "Searching For The Divine", Northern Indiana Arts Association, 59th Annual Salon Show. Juror: Paul Sierra
  • 2002: Manhattan Arts International Artist Showcase Award for "Manhattan Rhythm" in the “I Love Manhattan” competition. Jurors: Edward Rubin and Renée Phillips
  • 2002: Merit Award, "Reactions: Living in the New America", Union Street Gallery, Chicago Heights, IL Juror: Ardell Arthur, MA, Art Historian
  • 2003: Best of Show, for "Rhapsody In Blue", Jazz: Visual Improvisations, Target Gallery, Alexandria, VA, Juror: Sam Gilliam, international artist
  • 2003: Chelsea Global Showcase Winner for "Manhattan Rhythm", Amsterdam Whitney International Fine Art, Inc.[22]
  • 2003: Award Of Excellence for "Desire", Manhattan Arts International, 20th Anniversary Competition, New York, NY, Jurors: Nancy di Benedetto, Renee Phillips, NY
  • 2003: Award Of Excellence for "Journey To Self Discovery", Manhattan Arts International, "The Healing Power Of Art", New York
  • 2004: Artist Showcase Award Winner, for "Life, Love And The Art Of Celebration", Manhattan Arts International, The Healing Power Of Art, Juror: E. Jay Weiss,

As record producer[edit]

In 2016, Parrilli served as executive producer of Canadian singer/songwriter Jane Siberry's album Angels Bend Closer. Parrilli also worked as art director[23] and photographer for the album release.[24] Siberry credited Parrilli for adding a renewed energy and focus to the album's arrangements.[25] The album was featured in NPR All Things Considered's 2016 "The Year In Music" year-end review,[26] and has received positive reviews from ABC News,[27] The Associated Press[28] and Popdose.[29]


  1. ^ a b c d e "From Disaster to Rave Reviews: Dellamarie Parrilli". DePaul Magazine. Chicago: DePaul University. Winter 2004. p. 21. 
  2. ^ "Alumni US: DePaul University, Greater Chicago Area". Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  3. ^ Daly, Maggie (14 August 1979). "Byrne wastes no time wielding budget ax". Chicago Tribune. 132 (226). Sect. 1 p. 12. Retrieved 20 June 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ "An evening of 'Razzle Dazzle' Dellamarie enlivens Jane Addams Theater"". Gay Life. Chicago. 17 August 1979. p. 19. [Dellamarie] has three strong influences in her stage presence: Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli and Jacques Brel. She pays tribute to Garland (but does not mimic her), with a medley of hits which graciously omits the much overworked 'Over The Rainbow'. From Minnelli she borrows the high energy tunes and the ability to pace the material smoothly from belter to ballad to back again. She loves Brel's music as witnessed by her powerful and dramatic renditions of 'Marieke' and 'Sons of...'. With these songs one is allowed the pleasure of seeing Dellamarie, the actress. She exhibits a tenderness and warmth that is unexpected and almost guaranteed to produce a tear. Other notable numbers include a very fresh rendition of 'Bye Bye Blackbird', 'Razzle Dazzle' from the show Chicago, and 'Up the Avenue'. 
  5. ^ Dellamarie (LP front cover) (Media notes). Dellamarie Parrilli. Chicago: Carousel Productions. 1984. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Casey, Laurie (20 February 2002). "Singer finds a new voice on canvas". Chicago Tribune (online). Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Vettel, Phil (13 November 1998). "Dining Poll Results. Tray Chic: Raves for what Chicago craves – with a side of stuffing.". 152 (317). Chicago Tribune. Section 7. Retrieved 19 June 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ Rose, Don (10 August 2000). "The Grub Game". Chicago Reader. Wrapports LLC. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c "Dellamarie Parrilli". Metropolitan Artists. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f McCormack, Ed (November 2007). "Dellamarie Parilli's 'Reflections' Light Up Madison Avenue's Ezair Gallery". Gallery & Studio. Vol. 10 no. 2. New York: Eye Level Ltd. p. 23. 
  11. ^ a b c Landi, Ann (December 2008). "(Untitled essay)". Dellamarie Parrilli: Into the Light (Exhibition Catalogue). New York: Walter Wickiser Gallery Inc. pp. 2–3. 
  12. ^ a b c Landi, Ann; Rubin, Edward (November 2006). "At the Beach with Dellamarie Parrilli". NY Arts. New York. p. 89. 
  13. ^ a b c d e McCormack, Ed (February 2004). "At Marymount College: The Passion of Dellamarie Parrilli". Gallery & Studio. Vol. 6 no. 3. New York: Eye Level Ltd. p. 29. 
  14. ^ Tucker, Ruthie (May 2003). "Emotional Interludes". Art Acquisitor. Vol. 2 no. 2. New York: Amsterdam Whitney International Fine Art Inc. p. 28. 
  15. ^ Tucker, Ruthie (May 2003). "Emotional Interludes". Art Acquisitor. Quote attributed to Nancy di Benedetto, lecturer, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Parrilli's works flow and pulsates with a resonance from the world around her...Her virtuostic compositions open up windows to the world and define a sense of reality. 
  16. ^ McCormack, Ed (February 2004). "At Marymount College: The Passion of Dellamarie Parrilli". Gallery & Studio. Quote attributed to Nancy di Benedetto, lecturer, Metropolitan Museum of Art. [Parrilli] has transformed [her] creativity from the stage to the studio where she literally sings and dances on her canvases. 
  17. ^ a b McCormack, Ed (February 2014). "Dellamarie's Tribute to an Adopted City". Gallery & Studio. Vol. 16 no. 3. New York: Eye Level Ltd. p. 24. 
  18. ^ "Exhibits". El Paso Daily Camera (online). 17 September 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  19. ^ "Pollock/Midler exhibit in River North" (PDF). Windy City Times. Vol. 24 no. 31. Chicago: Windy City Media Group. 29 April 2009. p. 9. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  20. ^ "Galleries: Mesilla Opening". Albuquerque Journal. 129 (277) (main ed.). 9 October 2009. p. F3. Retrieved 22 June 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  21. ^ "Deadline Nearing For Chelsea Global Showcase 2004". Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  22. ^ "Deadline Nearing For Chelsea Global Showcase 2004". ArtDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Jane Siberry Lets Nature Guide Her Toward Renewed Connection With Mainstream Listeners". Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  24. ^ Angels Bend Closer (CD booklet) (Media notes). Jane Siberry. Toronto: Sheeba Music. 2016. p. 18. 
  25. ^ "Northern Star: Jane Siberry on a New Musical Journey". International Musician. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  26. ^ Powers, Ann; et al. (6 December 2016). "All Songs Considered: The Year In Music 2016". National Public Radio. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  27. ^ Raible, Allan (23 November 2016). "Miranda Lambert's New Album Is a Soaring 'Double Dose of Heartbreak' (5 of 6)". ABC News. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  28. ^ Gorondi, Pablo (17 November 2016). "Review: Jane Siberry haunts, stirs on 'Angels Bend Closer'". AP News. The Associated Press. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  29. ^ Creighton, Keith (14 November 2016). "Jane Siberry Returns To Kateness With Angels Bend Closer". Popdose. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 

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