Home, 1996 (detail)

David Carbone is a realist painter whose psychologically charged treatment of themes of alienation and estrangement take place in disguised tableaus whose vaguely circuslike references sometimes recall the pittura metafisica of Giorgio de Chirico. In Limbless Impasse, a female figure dressed as a circus acrobat gestures with a flourish of resignation towards an armless and legless male figure on a pedestal, who in turn leans away, his gaze lost in the middle distance. Separating the two figures is an arch that seems to lead precisely nowhere. In A Throng of Echoes, which is presented more as a sideshow scene, male powerlessness is depicted in the partially obscured “Lobster Boy” banner and in the form of the agonized central figure, who is surrounded by female freaks that all appear more reconciled to their fate than he. Without seeming overly burdened by the historical weight of his style, Carbone turns a humanist’s lens to timeless expressions of contemporary anxiety.

(excerpt from Dan Cameron's catalog essay, click to see full text)