Felix Gonzalez-Torres - Portrait of Ross in L. A. (1991)
175 pounds of multicolored candy as a “portrait” of the artist’s partner Ross Laycock, who died of AIDS that same year.
Ross’s ideal healthy body weight was 175 pounds.
Attendees of the exhibit were instructed to take one piece of candy each.The dwindling pile paralleled Ross’s body languishing from the disease.
Gonzalez-Torres also instructed that the pile be perennially replenished so that Ross could be symbolically reborn again and again.
This is at the Art Institute of Chicago. I still have the wrapper from my piece the first time I visited, and I have the wrapper from my piece that I just got last weekend. I keep them folded up in my wallet wrapped in a few $2 bills.