Southwest Art

Artists to Watch in 2008

Whimsical, stark, spare, disarming, sneakily and subversively weighty, Carrie Marill’s works in gouache and acrylic combine the silliness of Dr. Seuss with the sober precision of John James Audubon. Born in San Francisco in 1976 to a dentist father and a phlebotomist mother, Marill and her brother (now a musician) benefited from a rather typically unrestricted Bay Area childhood.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in 2002 from San Francisco State University, Marill left the familiarity of California for a masters program and some hoped-for structure at upstate New York’s Cornell University.   I wanted a rigorous critique, recalls Marill. Instead, they let us do whatever we wanted. We were left alone a lot, which was actually good. Later on, I appreciated it. The school also emphasized a more intellectual approach, which Marill eventually warmed to as well. I was very visceral going in, and very conceptual when I came out, says Marill, who spends lots of time in libraries and online poring through Google Images. I’ve now melded those two together in my work.

Now based in Goodyear, AZ, right outside Phoenix, and living with her farmer husband Matthew Moore, Marill has applied her collagist touch to everything from birds and plants to trucks and imaginary buildings. I like people to get a reaction to the beauty and fragility of life, says Marill. She is represented by Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX; Sixspace, Culver City, CA.