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AA Bronson

Felix Partz, June 5, 1994

Not on view



Inkjet print on vinyl

Overall: 84 × 168in. (213.4 × 426.7 cm)

Accession number

AP | Ed. 3

Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Mark J. Krayenhoff van de Leur

Rights and reproductions
© 1999 AA Bronson


AA Bronson’s Felix Partz, June 5, 1994 depicts its subject just a few hours after his death from AIDS-related illness. Positioned as if to receive visitors, Partz’s ravaged figure was so emaciated upon dying that his eyes could not be closed, and they stare at us hauntingly from hollow sockets. Yet his ashen body is surrounded by brightly colored bedding and clothing as well as tokens of comfort such as a remote control, cigarettes, and his beloved tape recorder. These personal effects bespeak joy and compassion in the face of a harrowing death, which Partz’s dear friend Bronson memorialized with both unflinching candor and great sensitivity. In printing Partz’s portrait in the manner of a commercial billboard, Bronson referred to their past work as members of the art collaborative General Idea, while also creating a startling monument that forces us to confront our often repressed feelings about our own mortality. “We need to remember,” Bronson said, “that the diseased, the disabled, and, yes, even the dead walk among us. They are part of our community, our history, our continuity.”

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