Ray Navarro with Zoe Leonard
NAVARRO 1964–1990 | LEONARD BORN 1961, LIBERTY, NY
Currently, this work is not on view to the public.
Three black-and-white photographs, plaques
12 3/8 x 18 5/8 inches; 12 ¼ x 18 ½ inches; and 18 5/8 x 12 3/8 inches
Gift of Margaret Sundell
Each of the black-and-white photographs in this triptych portrays a mobility device used by disabled persons, and is accompanied by a sexy phrase etched on an office-style desk plaque. The frames are painted a warm pink to evoke the generic Caucasian flesh colors of most prosthetic devices, a color that reinforces the link between the disabled body and the device.
Ray Navarro created this work after losing his vision to AIDS-related complications. His fellow artist and friend Zoe Leonard functioned as his “eyes” in executing the work. The spread of HIV and AIDS during the 1980s and the accompanying climate of fear and uncertainty led to much cultural unrest at the time. Equipped speaks to the complexities of the disease, which became a political lightning rod that sparked debates on race, sexuality, and class.