I made another visit to “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)1991 by Felix Gonzalez-Torres today.
It’s been traveling or not on display lately, so I was very pleased to see it return to the Modern Wing.
“Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) is an allegorical representation of the artist’s partner, Ross Laycock, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991. The installation is comprised of 175 pounds of candy, corresponding to Ross’s ideal body weight. Viewers are encouraged to take a piece of candy, and the diminishing amount parallels Ross’s weight loss and suffering prior to his death. Gonzalez-Torres stipulated that the pile should be continuously replenished, thus metaphorically granting perpetual life.