Delvin Lugo

Region: Northeast


City / State: Riverside, RI

 In the series of paintings Early Life in Neon, I revisit memories from my hometown, Monción, Dominican Republic. In these vibrant works, I highlight positive, nurturing, and comic aspects of the rural life my family lived prior to their emigration to the United States when I was twelve years old. Resourcefulness and improvisation were intertwined with my earliest expressions of identity as a gay boy interested in fashion and the fabulous, so I celebrate wearing one of my mother’s earrings or having a homemade Barbie doll in these paintings. Highlighting the retrospectively humorous elements of these early expressions is also essential here. Years before I learned to speak English my favorite T-shirt bore the slogan “Bitch, Bitch, Bitch!” and I proudly showcase it in the series. This bold approach to life is manifested and amplified through my use of vibrant and fluorescent colors. To accentuate the spirit of playfulness, these paintings can also be viewed in black light. In any light, though, they are full of delight, resilience, and a tenacious joy.