Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) - Felix Gonzales Torres
Torres represented his lover, Ross, who died of AIDS in 1991, with this pile of 73 kilos of candies. Viewers were invited to eat a piece of the candy and drop the wrapper on the floor; the pile of candy thus grew steadily smaller, mimicking the wasting of Ross’ body as his disease progressed to its ultimate conclusion.
My favorite piece in the whole place. It’s a stack of prints sitting on the floor, and the viewers are invited to take a print. There was a pile of rubber bands sitting next to it that you could use to roll it up and the prints are huge, about 4x5 ft. The most fascinating thing about this piece to me is that it was created in 1991, and the artist died in 1996. But despite the artist being dead there are still endless prints, just like the description says. Somehow that’s really powerful.
“Love is very peculiar because it gives a reason to live but it’s also a great reason to be afraid, to be extremely afraid, to be terrified of losing that love….” [Felix Gonzalez-Torres, quoted in interview by Tim Rollins, in Felix Gonzalez-Torres (New York: A.R.T. Press, 1993), 14.]