Photography Mara Thorn Hincher

Artist. Writer. Illustrator. Surrealist. Dealer of dreams & illusions since 1971.

Born in the alligator infested, voodoo-steeped parishes of Louisiana, Marabelle teethed on fried green tomatoes and hot beignets, took her first steps in the outdoor art galleries of Jackson Square, observed the bizarre occupants of the French Quarter day and night, and absorbed the rich cacophony of imagery that a busy old historical city can provide. Exposure to both fine art and highly unusual things from a young age– from the New Orleans Zoo, Museums, and costumes of the Mardi Gras Krewes– fueled her imagination. She was raised up on a steady diet of storytelling and smokey barbeque on sizzling summer evenings under her Grammy's pecan trees, serenaded by legions of mosquitoes, and illuminated by a thousand dancing fireflies. Stories about magic and haints, curses and cures... stories about crumbling green mansions with snakes in their walls. And when she wasn't being thrilled with spooks or being an incurable southern belle, she was visually soaking up the colorful folk art of all the Southern greats firsthand, because everyone knows everyone in Mississippi.

Art school consisted of an ordinary public university enriched with endless art parties, changing majors numerous times, and being a founding member of Pantheon Visual Art Guild which was established in order to expand the horizons of art students within the department with organized group shows and opportunities, regular meetings, speakers, forums, art outings and field trips to museums, and to bring art students together as a community. All of the founders of Pantheon are among the few from that class of students who are still working as professional, and in many cases successful, artists.

Even though she managed to eventually shake off the syrupy bonds of southern comfort to travel about the world– in order to add that richness to her creative palette– it has been difficult to shake the flavor and influence of the Deep South in her art, poetry, and short stories.

Many of her paintings feature magic and mystery— themes from fantastical religious visions and dreamlike scenarios that seem strangely familiar… combining dreamland creatures and mythic saints, reflecting imaginings and passionate visions of the lives and raptures of saints that never were. The imagery takes its cues from Byzantine iconographic and secular paintings, Victorian storybooks and scrapbooks, and old european fairy tales, utilizing a special flavor for using the texture of unusual materials and media with amusing tongue in cheek themes to emulate old fine art techniques in the grand tradition of faux.

She also enjoys the puzzlework of doing collage, with both old and new ephemera, as well as the particular challenge of creating photomontage, which has been an art form and source of amusement for photographers for over 150 years. She hides little things in all of her work, esoteric details or cerebral jokes, for the looker to find if they can. It's a secret.

Marabelle currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband David, who is an architect, their daughter Lucy, who is highly imaginative herself, and their dog Jasper and cat Mimi, who are terrible conversationalists.