I mean, HIV is totally not a problem anymore right? At least, if you're not in Africa…WRONG! HIV is not over, but the era of scare tactics and fear mongering should be. I guess that's where my whole inspiration started. I wanted to use my artistic voice to draw attention to the complexity of HIV/AIDS today. I wanted to share the benefits I gained from meditation and mindfulness with others living with not only HIV but other chronic conditions; I wanted to share my perspectives so that other positive young men and women searching, might see they're not alone and might see that there is a community of us fighting for visibility, respect, rights, funding for research and the promise of an AIDS Free Generation.
I posted the other day about endings, about how the falling leaves and crisp air had me realizing that this whole three year process is coming to a close. Now I think its time to take a look at the other side of the coin; the beginning of this whole project.
I started The Gold Series because I wanted to find a way to translate my experience with HIV into paintings that speak to the thousands of maybes, what-if’s, could’ve beens and how did I’s which are part and parcel of this disease and all its facets. The Gold Series is about making the unspoken and unspeakable visual. It is about the combination of my creative style and spiritual path. It is about the triumph of self over limitations of the body. I began painting in my youth as a way to counteract the motor skill issues that come with my cerebral palsy; it is no surprise then, that to overcome this new challenge in adulthood I should turn back to art as the conduit for reflection, understanding and most importantly, spreading awareness of the many HIV related issues facing us as a national and global community.
The palimpsest, complex layers and color combinations infuse the process-centered notions of abstract expressionism with written and quasi-linguistic forms to call into question the hidden personal and social narratives the piece seeks to highlight; often juxtaposed with titles that further contextualize them within the mission of The Gold Series
As evidenced by the robust work of organizations like Visual AIDS, I am not original in this. I am not the first to take brush to canvas in the hopes of translating these perspectives. However I believe the holistic nature of The Gold Series project, spanning 50 original paintings (5 available as prints) and a monograph featuring my relevant poetry, prose and interviews with other HIV positive individuals, activists and change-makers is a uniquely comprehensive window into life with HIV/AIDS today and the issues we face a we fight for an AIDS free generation