Félix González-Torres, “Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)”, 1991
The artist created a series of conceptual portraits of his lover, Ross Laycock. Ross contracted AIDS in the 1980’s and died years later from AIDS-related illness. This is my favorite; a reflection on both the wonderful personality and slow death of his partner.
In practice, this takes the form of a 175-pound pile of individually wrapped pieces of candy. When Ross was diagnosed with HIV, his doctor placed his ideal weight at 175 pounds, so this pile of candy is meant to symbolize his sweet personality and his weight. Visitors to the gallery/museum are invited to each take and eat a piece of candy from the pile, taking a piece of Ross with them. The candy pile therefore slowly dwindles, reflecting Ross’ weight loss and eventual death.
However, González-Torres has also said that each pile should ideally be continually replenished, creating symbolic immortality for his beloved partner.
Title: The Execution of Lady Jane Grey
Author: Paul Delaroche
Location: National Gallery, London
Kenzo Tange, Office Building of the Shizuoka Newspaper and Broadcasting Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, 1966-1967