Wednesday, February 6, 2008

felix gonzalez torres

since last week was someone i get to see everyday, this week i'll take it far away to someone i'll never have the good fortune of meeting in this life, felix gonzalez-torres. in my own humble process there is a small handful of makers that over the years have really dug up under my ribs and stuck there. there's something visceral about their work, that it reaches me on a cellular level, like i was born with it in my bones. it makes my own work better because i aspire to be able to quietly and universally communicate my story in a way that speaks to other people's experience. i feel this way about felix gonzalez-torres work. it's so subtle and sincere in the way it connects both the viewer and the maker and the viewers with each other. you can't just look at it, you have to experience it, you have to become a part of it. the following two pieces are my personal favorites.

These two identical, adjacent, battery-operated clocks were initially set to the same time, but, with time, they will inevitably fall out of sync. Gonzalez-Torres created this work shortly after his partner, Ross Laycock, was diagnosed with AIDS. By assigning these redundant objects the title "Untitled" (Perfect Lovers), the artist transformed these public, neutral devices used for the measurement of time into personal and poetic meditations on human relationships, mortality, and time's inevitable flow. Of the light-blue background, Gonzalez-Torres said, "For me if a beautiful memory could have a color that color would be light blue." (from The Museum of Modern Art)

"Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)" consists of a pile of 175 lbs (ideal weight) of fruit flashers candy, which viewers are invited to take and do with as they please. It was made for Gonzalez-Torres lover, Ross, after he passed away. The candies are replenished as they are removed, creating an endless pile, an eternal portrait, giving his lover and their love the ability to live forever.



chantal said...

i love the clock one. beautiful.