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Saturday, November 10, 2012

"San Limon"

This painting by Tony De Carlo is called "San Limon" which translates to Saint Lemon. His work mixes religious iconography with gay subjects, blending homoeroticism and spirituality. His vivid, sensuous paintings are bursting with color and often convey a delightful sense of fun, but he also addresses suffering. In this particular painting, I really liked the urban background (buildings and roads) fused with nature (the lemons scattered across the floor). This naked man affirms De Carlo's depictions of male eroticism and sensuality and also the holiness of homosexuality with a Latino flare.

In an interview, Tony says he grew up with the imagery of saints in cathedrals, statues, paintings and stained glass windows. He first started painting saints as a response to the Catholic Church’s tirades and attacks on, and demonization of, gay people. He believes they are all made-up. So he began adding his own saints to the list, some sarcastic, some comical, but all of them with the same number of videotaped miracles: 0. This one is San Limon which is just a play off of the lemons on the floor and the naked man as the subject. While the name of the painting has no significant meaning (like his other paintings, just to name a few: San Perro, The Patron Saint of Chain-Smokers, San Labios, Saint Aaron the Surfer, The Patron Saint Protector Against Aids, etc.), the content represents the holiness of homosexuality, the male body, and sensuality.

1 comment:

  1. Based on this painting, I would say that Tony De Carlo is relaying a message in a very cheeky way. You brought up that he believes saints are made up and that he invents his own. It's almost like treating something the way it has treated you. Through his artwork, he's treating an institution, that defames the community that represents who he is and what he believes, the same way the institution is treating him. In my opinion, this is both brave and entertaining work.