Carlos Alfonzo's work is infused with a personal iconography that is at once sensual and dramatic, and complex in its evocation of the physical and the spiritual. Present in Spiral are the many symbols found recurrently throughout the artist's work: the dagger-pierced toungue-- an Afro-Cuban charm against evil, which can also refer more generally to nail-pierced hands and other instruments of Christian martyrdom; the hollow cube--representing creation and perfection; teardrops that can also be drops of blood, semen, and rain; the all-seeing eye and the disembodied mouth and teeth; and of course, the spiral itself, a symbol of infinity, creation and destruction.
Alfonzo's expressive brushstroke found free rein in his large format compositions. As with many of his contemporaries, Alfonzo seemingly preferred to work on imposingly sized canvases, energy and paint applied equally, limited only by the size of the surface. Spiral is unusual due to its relatively small format. A fully, beautifully realized work, in lush tropical colors, it was executed during the same time as Paradiso and Summer, containing many of the same elements found in those more celebrated works.