Delvin Lugo

2024 Aim Fellow

Artist Statement

Delvin Lugo’s figurative paintings explore themes of chosen family and home within LGBTQ+ community in the Dominican Republic and NYC diaspora. His narratives capture moments where friends are engaged in simple pleasures like a poetry reading, dancing, a lover’s embrace, sharing a meal.

His works begin as social engagement projects where Lugo begins by connecting with his subjects, who are usually artists and activists, through social media, followed by video chats, and photoshoots. His subjects invite their chosen family to be photographed and also to spend time getting to know each other.

Lugo begins by composing photo collages, sketches, and small acrylic studies. His color palette is inspired by the pastels and neon colors found throughout the countryside where he grew up. The son of tailors, Lugo considers fabric his first artistic medium and clothing in his paintings is rendered with great detail and works as a second skin to each figure. The compositions depict these individuals in a heightened, more vibrant version of their own world, yet there is a familiarity and warmth to them.

In his most recent works, he’s extended the theme of home to the surface he’s painting on. Playing with domesticity, he uses vintage linens such as tablecloths, pillow cases, doilies and table runners for canvases. At closer proximity, details of the embroidery weave their way through the painted figures. Becoming sculptural and essential for contextualizing the figures depicted, the substrate hangs off the stretched bars mimicking a tablecloth or curtains.

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