Laura Aguilar

Luis Alfaro

Don Bachardy

Ben Cuevas


Vaginal Davis

Tony De Carlo

Alison De La Cruz

Anthony Friedkin

Olga Garcia-Echeverria

Rudi Gerneich

Ken Gonzales-Day

Susan "Phranc" Gottlieb

Aurora Guerrero

Robert "Cyclona" Legorreta

Catherine Lord

Guglio "Gronk" Nicandro

Roy Rogers Oldenkamp

Monica Palacios

Antonio Rael

Julio Salgado

Terisa Siagatonu

Joey Terrill

Ryan Trecartin

Tony De Carlo

  • Artist Tony De Carlo
  • Tony's Art
  • Contributor Deanna De La Hunt

Tony de Carlo is a native of Los Angeles, now residing in Savannah, Georgia. A self-taught artist, he has been creating art on a daily basis since his childhood. He has been painting for forty years and throughout his life has donated much of his work to PAWS, Project Angel Food, Shanti, and many other animal charities as well as gay organizations. His work is exhibited regularly in museums and galleries throughout the United States, and his paintings are in collections around the world.

His paintings are inspired by the mixing of culture and people. He paints what he knows and what he is surrounded by in his daily life. Most of his paintings are of friends, males either together or alone, gardens, homes, and dogs. He does not paint something he does not know or something that does not hold meaning to him. His work is most specifically about men. Although he never paints anything sexual he tries to reveal the sensuality of men. He stays true to the people he knows in the LGBT communities and paints these subjects in his work.

Many of his paintings represent the life and culture of homosexual people. He also depicts the dark aspects of homosexuality including their pain, suffering and death. He incorporates surrealism, eroticism, and masculinity as vehicles of social protest in his quest for liberation for the gay community.

This painting is titled San Limon which translates to Saint Lemon. His work mixes religious iconography with gay subjects, blending homoeroticism and spirituality. His vivid, sensuous paintings burst with color and always seem to have a touch of surrealism in each piece. He features the people, neighborhoods, landscapes, cityscapes, dogs and flowers that he sees in his daily life. 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 of the male body as well as the holiness of homosexuality. In an interview with Kittredge Cherry, an art historian and author, 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 the saints 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 as the "real ones": 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, representations of the male body, and sensuality.

This painting is titled Destiny Masks. It is about the painful hardships homosexuals endure in their lives. He uses very colorful and beautiful flowers in the background to contrast the image of death. Tony likes to depict not only the glorification and holiness of the queer community, but also the suffering and sorrow they face. People who identify as queer often face discrimination, violence, and oppression on a daily basis. The masks of both the man and the skeleton show how gay men are “dead men” because there are many dangers that come with their identity. The living man with the death mask and the dead man with the mask of the man who is alive represents this message. The skeleton also connects to De Carlo’s famous theme of Dia de los Muertos in his paintings. He likes to play around with the idea of death by placing skeletons of men in homosexual scenes as well as religious and domestic scenes.  Although he mostly tends to focus on the love and bond between two men, this painting focuses on the consequences homosexual people receive as a result of the hatred and bigotry of others.

This painting is titled Adam And Yves. It is a masculine and homosexual play off the biblical characters Adam and Eve. It represents male sensuality and the freedom to be openly gay without being subjected to discrimination or violence. Tony De Carlo's work is a testament to the gay world and a vehicle of social protest which calls for freedom and acceptance of the gay community. Anyone viewing this piece can notice the immediate similarities to the biblical story such as the snake twisted around the tree as well as the fruits near it. This can be compared to the story of the “forbidden fruit” the snake gave to Eve to tempt her. The fruits in the tree look similar to the lemons in San Limon as well as the fruits in other paintings by De Carlo which demonsrates his passion to incorporate nature and love. He does this because it shows how homosexuality is something natural. De Carlo uses two men embracing each other to show a new and modern take on love, sensuality, and homosexuality both through an artistic and religious perspective. His Adam and Steve series, now number 20+, were initially a response to the argument "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" that he heard over and over from self-professed Christians. He says gay people and their relationships are no less valid or worthy than anyone else's. He continues to add to this series a painting or two per year, often in domestic settings, with titles like Adam and Steve At Home and Adam and Yves.


Work Cited: http://jesusinlove.blogspot.com/2012/09/tony-de-carlo-artist-affirms-gay-love.html






I am a senior at UCLA and nearing the end of my endeavor to earning my Bachelor's Degree in Gender Studies. After graduation, I intend on going to graduate school where I will work to receive my Master's Degree in Education and Counseling. Ideally, my future career will be somewhere along the lines of being an academic advisor or counselor for a community college or university. My main research interests thus far have been LGBT, race, and women's issues. I have enjoyed the classes in my major and feel as if they have opened my eyes to many important ideas regarding the lives and struggles of all minorities. I believe these courses as well as the Gender Studies degree will allow me to work with people from all types of backgrounds and provide help, resources, and support in their journey of higher education.

I chose to do research on Tony De Carlo because his paintings are fascinating with interesting subject focus and vibrant use of colors. I am also intrigued by him as a person because he donates much of his work to LGBT and animal charities. He advocates for animal rights which is something I plan on pursuing in the future. Most importantly, he does a lot for the queer community and comes from the great city of Los Angeles. Not only is he a highly talented artist, but he seems to be an amazing person as well.