“Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)1991
Multicolored candies, individually wrapped in cellophane
Ideal weight 175 lb; installed dimensions variable, approximately 92 x 92 x 92 cm (36 x 36 x 36 in.)
Felix Gonzalez-Torres produced work of uncompromising beauty and simplicity, transforming the everyday into profound meditations on love and loss. “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.