New York

Angelo Filomeno

Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

Opulent symbolism does not equal erudition, but in the world of contemporary art we sometimes let things slide. We allow baroque excess to stand in for meaning, symbols to become trademarks that suggest generic “significance.” A diamond-encrusted skull becomes shorthand for violence, for excess, and, most of all, for Damien Hirst.

Angelo Filomeno’s embroideries run the risk of inviting such facile reception. Lavishly sewn with metallic threads on silk stretched over canvas and often appliquéd with crystals and semiprecious stones, the works boast a sheer luxury matched only by the overdetermination of their subjects: skulls, crosses, scarabs. Recent works have depicted a skeleton shitting swirls of leafy fronds, a rooster excreting jewels into a skull’s upturned mouth, and skeletons flying over the nocturnal cityscape of Los Angeles. Many recall the grotesque humor of the traditional

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