‘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.’
ABC Culture, 4 June, 1998

‘An explosion of the life-force onto canvas. A Carbonell portrait is an event.’
The Spectator

‘It is said that Mercedes Carbonell work is autobiographical. I am not sure about that. I think that she uses an old resource, self-portrait, in which the painter finds herself with another. The use of the double is fully justified when the problem is the identity. And this is not a matter of Carbonell, but a permanent question of our irrational civilization. Carbonell raises the disconcerting identity thanks to the irony: How this can be admired if it seen every day?

In the recent work of Carbonell, irony goes together with the virtualities of the new techniques of the image. The computer processing and the plastic media are effective to zoom out the image, while the careful pictorial treatment gives depth and density: a small paint which concentrates the irony in the title, Gota Caliente, shows these possibilities. The series entitled Marina Núñez and other three pictures, in which the face vanish in a very elaborated painting, show new points of the pictorial work of Carbonell.’

The Andalusian Contemporary Art Center

‘Mercedes is a great painter. Her work is even housed in the Reina Sofia National Museum

HELLO Magazine