‘Lived Love.’ Kavir Mootoo, 2020. Hand-painted One-off Unisex *Medium*. Organic bamboo + Organic cotton, sweatshop-free.
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I did this piece in response to a call for artwork for PRIDE Memorial 2020 that was hosted by ‘Friends for Life’ and ‘Alliance for Justice and Diversity’ in Trinidad.
I have been paralyzed with fear at various times of having HIV. A huge part of this was the stigma associated with being positive and I can only imagine what that loneliness and despair could feel like. I wanted in this piece to highlight a side of people that might be forgotten. ‘So and so’ isn’t ‘that guy who died of AIDS.’ He had a whole life like everybody else. The broken words are about silence and from my own experience of having a love that could not be public. The gold is important for a sense that their lives should be celebrated and the simplicity of the design is for a sense of solemn reflection.
This piece is offered as part of #artistsupportpledge which is a generous culture and dynamic economy in support of artists and makers.
The concept is a simple one. Artists and makers post images of their work to sell for NO MORE than TT$1400 (US$200, £200, €200, ¥20000) each (not including shipping.) Anyone can then buy the work. Every time the artist or maker reaches TT$7000 (US$1000) of sales they pledge to buy another artist’s work for TT$1400 (US$200). This is open to artists all over the world and is to encourage a more democratic, equal and open economy for all artists and makers.