‘Mercedes Carbonell is not a typical painter. She inhabits her own, unique intimate??artistic world.’
ABC Culture, 4 June, 1998
‘Mercedes Carbonell’s, whose self-portrait was chosen as the subject of the official poster to celebrate the Lorca Centenary, presents herself between ecstasy and pain as she evokes the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian in her conception of the homosexual Spanish writer.
Carbonell, winner of the Focus Award, decided to be Lorca, using Saint Sebastian to play with the ambiguity of ecstasy and pain. She said, “It is a work in which I represent myself with the ecstasy and the pain reflected in the images of the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian; this seems to symbolise homosexuals because I don’t know whether there is suffering or enjoyment. Instead of an arrow, I have a dip pen because the women in Lorca’s work seem to be writing letters to themselves, as a way of fighting against a fatal and inexorable fate.’’ She added, “And just as San Sebastian was a martyr of his time, so was Lorca.”