Remember: One More Look at Kurt Weston’s AIDS Retrospective Photographs

At Kurt Weston’s photography show, Remember: An AIDS Retrospective, opening at the Orange County Center of Contemporary Art on World AIDS Day 2018. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Remember: An AIDS Memorial Retrospective – 12/1/18 – 12/29/18

One More Look at Some of Kurt Weston’s AIDS Retrospective Photographs

This weekend, on December 29, Kurt Weston’s photography show, Remember: An AIDS Memorial Retrospective, ends. That means there is still time to stop by the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art and check it out.

In this post, I’d like to take a look back at some of Kurt Weston’s most iconic images included in this exhibition and share their stories:

Kurt Weston photography at OCCCA
On World AIDS Day 2018, award-winning photographer Kurt Weston invited me to participate in a panel discussion on the opening night of his new show Remember: An AIDS Retrospective at Orange County Center of Contemporary Art. Here are a few images I’ve taken during the event after the panel discussion.

One of Kurt Weston’s Blind Vision images, Losing the Light, was featured at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, DC, as part of the VSA (Very Special Arts) 2006 exhibition. I attended that show and met face-to-face with the artist and his work for the first time. Here are my thoughts on that first encounter with Losing the Light, as shared in Weston’s biography, Journeys Through Darkness:

World AIDS Day 2018 – opening night of Kurt Weston’s new show, Remember: An AIDS Retrospective, at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. The show runs from 12/1/2018 – 12/29/2018. Photo by Alina Oswald.

“”I could see the artist’s face and fingertips pressing against the glass, seemingly trying to push away the foam, yet I couldn’t recognize his face. I reached out and aligned my fingertips with the foamy imprints. And they almost overlapped. I felt they were […] allowing me a snapshot of the world, seen through the artist’s eyes, from within the darkness.”“”I could see the artist’s face and fingertips pressing against the glass, seemingly trying to push away the foam, and yet, I couldn’t recognize his face. I reached out and aligned my fingertips with the foamy imprints. And they almost overlapped. I felt they were […] allowing me a snapshot of the world, seen through the artist’s eyes, from within the darkness.”

On World AIDS Day 2018 – the opening night of award-winning photographer Kurt Weston’s new show Remember: An AIDS Retrospective at Orange County Center of Contemporary Art. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

And here are a few thoughts on yet another image by Kurt Weston–Prophet Angel–as explained to me by the artist himself:

Weston’s artwork, particularly his AIDS-inspired body of work, has a lot of iconic imagery and references to mythology. It is also rich in symbolism. Inspired by the play Angels in America, Prophet Angel expresses the prophecy of the AIDS epidemic. While angels are associated with the resurrection and ascension of Christ, Weston’s angel professes the resurrection of AIDS and, by extension, of any other terminal illness. In the photograph, the angel is holding a crucifix, which symbolizes his modern crucifixion, because the person in the photograph is HIV-positive himself.

Kurt Weston’s Prophet Angel (top) and other photographers at Remember: An AIDS Retrospective show hosted by Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.

Even though Remember: An AIDS Retrospective is ending, Kurt Weston’s work is not. Quite the contrary. It reminded me of the goals and dreams the award-winning photographer shared with me so many years ago when we were working on his biography, Journeys Through Darkness :

It’s difficult for anyone to predict the future, Weston would tell me; he hopes for a bright one for his art and life. His dream is to continue to create art. For Kurt Weston creating visual art will always be an ongoing, life-long process. It will continue to expand and change and show itself in different ways. Ultimately, it will remain inspirational and transforming.”“It’s difficult for anyone to predict the future, Weston would tell me; he hopes for a bright one for his art and his life. His dream is to continue to create art. For Kurt Weston creating visual art will always be an ongoing, life-long process. It will continue to expand and change and show itself in different ways. Ultimately, it will remain inspirational and transforming.”

Remember: An AIDS Retrospective (12/1/2018 – 12/29/2018) hosted at OCCCA, featuring black-and-white images by award-winning photographer Kurt Weston.

Suppose you happen to be in Orange County this weekend. In that case, you have a last chance (for now) to visit the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art and check out Kurt Weston’s photography work featured in Remember: An AIDS Retrospective exhibition. Don’t miss that chance!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Alina Oswald

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