Artist: Felix Gonzalez-Torres (American (born Cuba), Guáimaro 1957–1996 Miami, Florida)
Medium: Instant black-and-white print
Dimensions: 7.2 x 6.9 cm (2 13/16 x 2 11/16 in.)
Credit Line: Purchase, Anonymous Gift, 1997
Accession Number: 1996.575
Rights and Reproduction: © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York
Gonzalez-Torres first came to prominence in the early 1990s with his interactive site-specific installations of candy stacks and printed paper. These "antimonuments" parody the coldness and rigor of Minimalist sculpture while actively encouraging participation by the audience. This early work conveys the sense of exile that the artist felt in America after fleeing his native Cuba. It can also suggest a Romantic conception of the soul yearning for the Infinite (represented by the sea) despite the hemming-in of the razor-thin barbed wire that blocks our passage. On the back of this photograph, the artist collaged a printed fragment, possibly from a magazine advertisement, showing cut-off portions of the words "THE BO[?]" and "ANYMORE." Although made, signed, and dated by the photographer, Gonzalez-Torres thought of works such as this as lying outside his core oeuvre.