Carbee mining for gems at Mt Mica, Paris, Maine
Carbee mining for gems at Mt. Mica. Photo taken in Paris, Maine.


Born in Manchester, New Hampshire, Carbee graduated from University of New Hampshire, where he participated in the school’s first fine arts program.  His studies there resulted in the formulation of his own curricular innovation, a degree awarded in the discipline of drawing. Shortly after graduating, he illustrated a children’s book The Magic Board, which was a gift from his alma mater to the regional public school system. In conjunction with the Portsmouth Community Action Program, he also founded an art school for underprivileged children. In the 1980’s, Carbee co-founded the Pine Family, Inc. with Pine Ohashi, a production company that worked extensively with NHK, the Japanese public broadcasting network to produce documentaries focusing on international economic and environmental concerns and ongoing status of U.S. & Japan relations.


In 1996, Carbee turned his hand to filmmaking. He wrote, produced, and directed the short film I’ll Be Yours Forever, for which he was honored with a nomination for the Discovery Award, presented by the New Hampshire Humanities Council to an artist working in a new medium. His other film credits include Men in Black, Eraser, Donnie Brasco, Conspiracy Theory, The Ice Storm, and Basquiat. Carbee worked on several television projects in New York including Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America, Sesame Street, Regis and Kathy Lee, All My Children, and One Life to Live. Among his television credits, Carbee’s work provided the prototypes for the original Mutant Toyland of Pee Wee’s Playhouse. A succession of multimedia projects led Carbee to participate in other film productions and his work can be seen in films by Robert Altman, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Al Pacino, Julian Schnabel, Richard Donner, and Ang Lee, among others.


American visual artist Marshall Carbee took a close look at his own environmental footprint as a working artist, and the result was not pretty. Paints that touted low or “no VOC” were simply petroleum products with often toxic properties. He set out to find and create products that were truly sustainable, outperformed the old ways and were either cheaper or cost-neutral. In 2008, Carbee developed the first bio-based sustainable gesso, Carbee Soy Gesso.  In his work as a scenic artist for films (he was the sole scenic artist on Julian Schnabel’s “Basquiat”), he found a crying need for healthier, truly sustainable paints and sealants. He collaborated with Eco Safety Products to develop the first bio-based industrial scenic art coatings. These products are superior in performance and significantly reduce the petroleum content of motion picture production. Carbee promotes responsible production in the arts – in painting, motion picture production, museums and schools. He works with socially aware organizations, contributing his own works of art to raise money for these causes.


Marshall Carbee has exhibited his paintings, mechanical sculpture and works on paper in one-man shows in cities around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Paris, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Caracas and Tokyo.  In May of 2004 over 150 of Carbee’s works were displayed in a one -man show at Tufts University. A prolific and gifted artist, Carbee’s work hangs in galleries and private collections in Europe and North and South America. He was twice nominated to Esquire’s prestigious annual register of Americans Under Forty, a list of young people who have made significant contributions in their fields. In 2004, Carbee’s bio-crystalline art installation, “Minor to Major, DC”, created on September 7, 2001 for the White House in Washington, DC, became part of the private art collection of Mrs.Laura Bush. On September 7, 2001, four days before the attacks, Carbee photographed major league baseball bases filled with Herkimer diamonds placed around the White House. Included in the piece is a sculpture of a white marble “First Base”, images of the four bases surrounding the White House, and a nameless street map of the neighborhood.


His production design for the music video of Michael Jackson’s Grammy Award-winning single “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” features Carbee’s miniature set design and original animation. He has created artwork for special events and industrial shows for such recording artists as Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, The Clash, Elvis Costello, Joe Cocker, Cheap Trick, Meatloaf, Earth Wind and Fire, Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, and the Rolling Stones.

Carbee has been a resident in Los Angeles, New York, Paris and more. He now resides on the beach in Rye, New Hampshire.