Marcell is a self-taught artist from Montbello, CO. From the time his painting in third-grade painting was shown at the local children’s museum he’s been a creator. He’d play with different mediums and styles over the years, but It wasn’t until 2017 that he found his love of oil paints.
In his dream world he’ll be placed somewhere in-between his favorites, Charles White and Claude Monet. While he’s still dreaming, he’s creating introspective pieces that combine the knowledge he’s gained from his past with the possibilities of the future. His hope is that, regardless if like or love his creations, you FEEL something.
Hello D.Marcell! Tell us a bit about yourself. When did you begin doing art and how did you get started as a self-taught artist? When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Marcell: Hey! Appreciate the interest. My earliest memory of creating anything was a painting in 3rd grade. The teachers were so impressed by it, they entered it in a contest to be shown at the Denver Children’s Museum… and it got shown! I was like alright, this may be something I want to do. But, as far as I knew, you couldn’t make a living as an artist. So I never aspired to be one. It was just a hobby. I wanted to be a fireman. Passed the tests and all but, things happen for a reason.
What artists of the past or present have inspired you?
Marcell: Claude Monet, Charles White, and even Kehinde Wiley. I love the subtle depth each of them created/create with. Charles White pieces came from his soul – like if soul food was on the canvas. I think his pieces inspire me to simply tell the story. Tell my story.
Kehinde has inspired me in that portraits don’t have to be confined to canvas or wood. Or any other flat surface for that matter. He’s creating stained glass portraits that are just crazy to me! My mind kind of blows up in thinking of seeing a brown glass face being projected by the sun. There are so many layers there. You have to dare to be great, that’s for sure.
In reflecting back to the start of your artistic endeavor, what is the most useful advice you ever received?
Marcell: It’s okay to suck. It’s not awesome being told you suck or you got a lot of work to do. If you’re really honest, sometimes them haters are 40% right! It’s just the other 60% that’s petty. Which is what we end up hearing 100% of the time. I understand the artist I am today won’t be the artist I will be 10 years from now. I know that because I can look at the art I created 10 years ago and honestly I don’t know If I know them kids. I may pull a Taylor Swift and repaint some of my older portraits.
You say your hope is that, regardless if people like or love your creations, as long as they FEEL something. Is there a message you are trying to send with each piece, or is it something else?
Marcell: I believe art comes from the spirit. You can see a piece of art that can spin you through a moment in life that you thought no one in the world would’ve understood. Paintings are our modern-day hieroglyphics, projections from within our minds that are, kind of, meant to be captured. When we look back on the art that was created in 2020 in say, 2070, we’re going to be able to feel the entire gamut of emotions people felt at that time.
Do you have a real-life situation that inspired your artwork?
Marcell: I think so… I think what’s inspired my art has been the things I’ve witnessed growing up. I witnessed more domestic abuse than I want to admit. As a young kid, you don’t have too many options when your home life situation isn’t the best. You can either stay or go. I didn’t put much thought into it when I began my life as an artist how much of my life subconsciously comes out in my art. When things got too hectic in the house, I’d go to my room, close my eyes and just escape. I didn’t – and I still don’t consciously do it – notice that most, if not all of the figures in the eyes of my creations are closed. You have to constantly look within to find inner peace.
Your art is very unique. What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?
Marcell: I’ve just learned to relax. Art has become like pop music. Folks are popping out 72 pieces a week. I can’t even begin to try to feel like I need to compete with that. Especially at the cost of putting out stuff I hate.
I almost have to get into character to paint. I have no clue who or where all these faces of people come from in my art. A lot of times I’ll begin a painting and just stare at it like, who am I painting…and what story are you trying to tell? There are so many paintings I’ve started years ago that I didn’t connect with that I’ve looked at last week like, ‘now I know what you’re trying to say!’ Relax and have some patience with yourself.
What are some of the tools you use to create a distinct style of artwork?
Marcell: Weed, knives, fingertips, and an occasional popsicle stick.
What are some of the stories behind your work?
Marcell: Most, if not all of my paintings have been repainted multiple times on that same canvas. I don’t feel that paintings are ever complete. I still have stuff hanging on my walls that I still feel have things that need to be fleshed out. It’s like my secret of knowing how many different versions of that piece have been painted on that canvas. So if you ever buy a D.Marcell original that for some reason weighs 30 lbs, just know you’ve bought a novel.
What is the most recent piece you’ve enjoyed working on the most?
Marcell: There’s a piece I created recently called “that boy got a lot on his mind.” that I love. This year has been tough, to say the least. I’ve had so many things going on that have pulled me away from painting as much as I’d like. Trying to keep composure and not absolutely lose my mind has been the hardest part. But you have to try to find that inner peace. The brushstrokes and emotions in that piece. It felt like a therapy session painting that one for sure.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Marcell: You know, level up! Continuing to improve and challenge myself as an artist. I’m currently working on a series called “The Shadows we Leave.” I’ve also got another ‘untitled’ series I’m working on that I’m REALLY excited about. But, I’m going to keep I tight on that one. Stay tuned. RIP DJ Sounds Supreme!
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