Marra, along with longtime college friend Peter Valois, started working together and immediate received recognition as part of Surface magazine's 2002 T.A.G. Team, a showcase of ten emerging American talents. Their selections were exhibited at both the Salone del Mobile in Milan and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York. In addition, they were chosen as runner-up in the Jan Ken Pon International Design Competition held in Gifu, Japan, in 2004.
Marra has created works in the worlds of lighting, furniture, tabletop, space/environment, fashion, art and graphics. He continues to collaborate with other artists and designers, and has increasingly become interested in one-off pieces, and limited edition runs appealing to the growing collectors market for design.
In his dazzling Chandelini, the artist has combined a cluster of martini glasses to form a shimmering sphere conjuring images of nebulae and rippling water. The chandelier is composed of six dozen martini glasses each independently hung and lit from within by 10-watt candelabra-based bulbs.
Marra comments, “ It’s important to me that my work have an element of discovery. Sometimes this is achieved in exploring new and often unlikely materials to create something original. Or simply rethinking the relationships between two objects and the space in which they occupy…I often use familiar materials but arrange and compose them in a less prescribed way. Keeping in mind a functionality that may not have been part of the original intent." His work has often been referred to as a cross between art and design.
Michael Marra, Magic Carpet, 2004, Antiqued Style Rug Over Bent Steele, 4 Feet W, 16 Inches H, 7 Feet L