Ode to The Love-liest Artwork There Ever Was
(It’s Valentine’s Day... and in the spirit of things, I wrote a poetic homage to my favorite work of art, which happens to be about love. A little background—- the piece is an installation called “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in LA) by Felix Gonzales-Torres. Ross Laycock was Gonzales-Torres’ lover, before he died of complications from AIDS in the 1980s. When he was healthy, Ross weighed 175 lbs. The artwork consists of a mound of hard candies wrapped in cellophane that weighs 175 lbs, replenished at the end of every day. The viewer is invited to take a piece of candy from the pile and eat it.)
Love Poem for “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross) in LA by Felix Gonzales Torres
The most heartbreaking act of devotion...
is this pile of candy.
Wrapped up, stacked up in a corner
in memory of Ross.
175 lbs every morning.
Take one and see the pile get lighter,
Just like Ross.
Take one and let it linger,
liquifying on your tongue, moving through your throat,
Becoming your blood.
Take one and know that, tomorrow, there’ll be another,
For everyone, forever.
Take one and taste how sweet.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
(This work is currently not on view at the Art Institute of Chicago. Hoping that changes soon).