Anthony Iacono “Beware of Pickpockets”


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I was being watched. The entire block was pitch black. And after waiting under the shop awning for a few minutes and peeing on the side of the ATM machine, I realized I wasn’t alone. Silhouettes scuffled around in the windows facing me and I was their theater. Eventually I decided the rain wasn’t going to stop so I made a run for it. My shoes were heavy and saturated with water and the dye from my new jeans dripped down my legs and into my socks. After slipping a few times on soggy leaves, I finally got there, drenched, and looking like a walking Hellenistic sculpture, wet drapery and all. It was the unmarked door between a building with glass tiles on the facade and a dusty shop with wicker baskets in the window. I walked down a long dark hallway feeling my way down to the basement and stripped of my wet clothes. Dollar bills in my pocket were damp and coins were cold and now polished so clean that they flickered fiery red from an emergency exit light. A sign mounted over a washing machine read “Beware of Pickpockets”…

Marinaro Gallery presents Beware of Pickpockets, Anthony Iacono’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Iacono renders the figure through intricate painted collages and a new series of watercolors. Queer bodies in a variety of scenarios and poses, from portraits to imaginative sexual encounters, are pictured in Iacono’s graphic world.

When we can see their faces, Iacono’s figures engage in the business of everyday life — talking on a phone, applying makeup, or posing for an unseen viewer. Influenced by the aesthetics of film posters and voeyuristic erotic thrillers from the 1980’s, the seemingly mundane scenarios Iacono creates are offset by the suggestive, darkly saturated color palette. Posed and composed with great care, Iacono’s pristinely gradated world is wrought with coded language and suspense; it seems that in an instant, the scene could turn in any direction. Out of this coiled energy of anticipation, the mostly anonymous subjects of his world leap into action. As if tasked to create new erotic games with what is laying around the house, the figures in Iacono’s collages pervert objects at hand for uncertain, but certainly titillating, ends. In slapstick acts simultaneously sexual and comedic, his figures topple and reconstruct the arena of intimacy. The luminous, nearly glowing bodies are playfully degraded, teased, and undressed, or perhaps play in acts of
self-gratification. The residue of public life lingers in the air, as a highly polished black leather shoe glints and gleams through eroticized exchanges of power. We escape into the pages of glossy magazines, with lacquered nails and lips seducing us in advertisements. Although these visuals are common in Iacono’s work, his puzzling narratives and curvy boys with a certain “bounce to their step” are unlikely anything we’d see in Vogue or on the cover of a Duran Duran record.

Iacono works primarily in collage from cut-out sections of painted papers. This process produces an unusual crispness made from the cut rather than the painted boundary between objects and bodies. The collages are easily mistranslated, first appearing as digital images or flat airbrush paintings, while in person they are flooded with paint and texture. Accompanying the collages are a new series of mixed media works made from watercolor and pastel rubbings. Each image is built from graphic textures producing topographical maps and puzzle piece-like outlines revealing what’s underneath. Belts, combs, and watches—all alluring props found in these 80’s thrillers—could act as evidence from a crime scene or remnants in a lost and found box of a cruising space. These rubbings prioritize touch over vision, leaving behind visual residue of tactile sensation.

-Michael Royce

Anthony Iacono is based in New York (b. 1987). He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013 and has been an artist in residence at LMCC Workspace and the Museum of Art and Design. He has had solo exhibitions at The Approach, P.P.O.W. Gallery, and Capsule Shanghai. His work has been included in group shows at 106 Green, Jack Hanley Gallery, and Hesse Flatow and he’s been featured in New York Magazine, New American Paintings and The Village Voice. In 2017 he was a recipient of the Toby Devan Lewis Award. Iacono is currently a resident artist at the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program. This is his second solo exhibition at Marinaro.



from April 15, 2021 to May 23, 2021

Opening Reception on 2021-04-15 from 15:00 to 19:00


Anthony Iacono

Website (venue's website)



Venue Hours

From 11:00 To 18:00
sundays opening at 12:00
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays


Address: 1 Oliver St., New York, NY 10038
Phone: 212-989-7700

At St. James Pl. Subway: F to E Broadway.

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