Thursday, July 22, 2010

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, 'Untitled' at Art Insitute of Chicago

I like going to museums by myself. A few weeks ago when I purchased advance tickets to San Francisco De Young Museum for the 'Birth of Impressionism' I was greeted by a "Just one?" followed by a knitting of eyebrows.

Enjoying a museum visit is like shopping. I could take ALL the time in the world, talk to myself, smile, exert a burst of excitement for no foreseen reason and even cry silently. The large collection of Gonzalez-Torres art work did just that to me.

That - I smiled, got goosebumps, my heart dropped, adrenaline rush and cried.

The Modern Wing at the Art Institute is split in different sections - Sounds, Visual, Contemporary USA and Europe, Architect, Furniture and I-may-be-missing-one-more-category.

Courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago

"Felix Gonzalez-Torres 'Untitled' (Portrait of Ross in L.A)is an allegorical representation of the artist’s partner, Ross Laycock, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991. The installation is comprised of 175 pounds of candy, corresponding to Ross’s ideal body weight. Viewers are encouraged to take a piece of candy, and the diminishing amount parallels Ross’s weight loss and suffering prior to his death. Gonzalez-Torres stipulated that the pile should be continuously replenished, thus metaphorically granting perpetual life."

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, 'Untitled' (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) at Art Institute of Chicago
The piece I took with me

The artwork is so beautifully bittersweet it touch me greatly. I felt the love, the heart, Gonzalez-Torres's love and lost and Ross's love.

Did I eat the piece of candy? Yes.

*I was unable to find any detailed information on Felix Gonzalez-Torres foundation. The AIDS Walk is a great way to contribute back to the community.


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