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Felix Gonzalez-Torres

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1 Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Felix Gonzalez-Torres was a Cuban American artist born in Cuba inn He grew up in Puerto Rico where his uncle stayed until he moved to New York City in 1979. ( )

2 This is one of his work called “Go-Go Dancer,” who is listening to Walkman and dancing on that little stage.

3 In his early years, he’d got influence from Roland Barthes’s essay, “The Death of the Author.” And then he joined “Group Material” in 1987 and had group exhibitions, which organized around particular social issues. One unique thing about his identity was “gay.” And its liberation became the central idea of his work. Group Material

4 Untitled; Sheridan Square, New York
Untitled, 1989 billboard in New York City’s Sheridan Square: This billboard piece was done for 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, which was a series of violent conflicts between New York City police officers and group of gays and transgender people back in He put some of key events in homosexual history. Untitled; Sheridan Square, New York

5 Untitled (Perfect Lovers)
Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 1991: This perfect harmony of time implies him and his lover Ross/ also implies limitation of time (life). Untitled (Perfect Lovers)

6 Untitled (Alice B. Tolkas’ and Gertrued Stein’s Grave)
Untitled (Alice B. Toklas’ and Gertrued Stein’s Grave, Paris), 1992: the photo of flowers at the Parisian grave site of the famous lesbian couple Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein. Many of his pieces relate to Paris, where he and his lover, Ross visited.

7 1992 billboard image (death of Ross): a black and white photo of an empty, but recently shared double bed implies the presence of Ross, who died in 1991/there’s no texts— it left on the spectator’s decision (comfort, good-bye greeting to death, relaxation.)

8 Untitled (Portrait of Marcel Brient)
Using candies of a person’s weight is one way of his portrait pieces. This candy portrait is replaceable and available to all. So the people who visited his exhibitions could take a piece of candy from that pile and tasted it. Untitled (Portrait of Marcel Brient), 1992: blue packaged candies with the white letters “passion” on them Untitled (Portrait of Marcel Brient)

9 Untitled (Portrait of Dad)
“white mints” “Fruit Flashers” Left: Untitled (Portrait of Dad), 1991/ Right: Untitled (Portrait of Ross in LA), 1991: both portraits were weighed 175 lb. He picked “white mints” for his father and fruit flashers candies for Ross. (It reminds me a color of rainbow.) It’s interesting to see this difference between two portraits because it actually implies what the person’s like effectively. Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)

10 Untitled (A Corner of Baci)
“It’s very hot.” “very sexy” Untitled (A Corner of Baci), 1990: 40 lb. of Italian candy “kisses,” containing a little message of love written in four languages on a strip of wax paper under the foil wrapper. “It’s a metaphor. I’m not pretending it to be anything other than this—I’m not splashing lead on the floor. I’m giving you this sugary thing; you put it in your mouth and you suck on someone else’s body. And in this way, my work becomes part of so many other people’s bodies. It’s very hot. For just a few seconds, I have put something in someone’s mouth and that is very sexy.” Untitled (A Corner of Baci)

11 These are photos of Felix Gonzalez-Torres preparing for his candy pieces.

12 Jigsaw Puzzle Untitled Untitled (Madrid 1971)
Jigsaw puzzle pieces are another works which symbolize fragility of memories—childhood snapshots, photos of past lovers Untitled (Madrid 1971), 1988/Untitled (Me and My sister), 1988/Untitled, 1991 Untitled (Me and My sister)

13 Privacy? Publicity? Untitled (Waldheim to the Pope)
He’s also challenging cultural assumptions of privacy and publicity—mass media and photography through jigsaw puzzles. Untitled (Waldheim to the Pope), 1989: former Austrian president who concealed own Nazi past Untitled (Klaus Barbie as a Family Man), 1988: the father happens to be convicted Nazi war criminal Untitled (Klaus Barbie as a Family Man)

14 Paper Stack Untitled (Veterans Day Sale) and Untitled (Memorial Day Weekend) Paper stacks are another project of him. Lacking of the celebration of historical event— consumer and pop culture Untitled (Veterans Day Sale), 1989/Untitled (Memorial Day Weekend), 1989

15 reaction of the spectators

16 Untitled (Death by Gun)
Untitled (Death by Gun), 1990: reproducing pile of papers showing the names, ages, and faces of 464 people who were killed by bullet wounds in the United States in a one-week period. Untitled (Death by Gun)

17 Untitled (NRA), 1991: implies the funeral portraits, and also reflects his bloody memory in childhood in Cuba Untitled (NRA)

18 Untitled (Portrait of the Wongs)
This is another version of portrait which describes with a series of personal and private events chronologically. It is interesting because it’s true that we recall the period of time through public events as well as private events. Untitled (Portrait of the Wongs), 1991: mixing up personal events and public event/private and public, mass media Untitled (Portrait of the Wongs)

19 Light-bulbs Untitled (Arena) Untitled (Miami)
His light-bulb pieces are very beautiful. The one in the right is one of series, which refers to his memory of places, people, and ideas. This piece is his memory of “Miami,” where he lived. He also created a public dance space (the image of left). The light-bulb reminds me the same concept as time. Untitled (Miami)

20 the image of his installation: one in the back is “Love Boy,” and another candy pieces on the right is “Placebo.” It refers the controversies surrounding the government’s clinical drug-testing programs to fight HIV and “please” from the Latin meaning. Felix Gonzalez-Torres died in His time has stopped like his artwork of clock, but his concepts in his art are still powerful and talking to us.

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