“Blood has its own personality”

I want to show that these are ordinary people and that HIV can affect anyone,” says DAve SChweitzer.

Blood is life and passion. But it can mean also danger and death. Millions of people around the world are infected with HIV. Artist DAve SChweitzer used their blood as paint to establish a protest against the taboos that are still surrounding the disease.

Blood is the ideal paint. It is a grateful and fascinating matter. It presents itself in a pallet of colours and behaves differently on each surface. Just as there are many different carriers of the disease in real life.”

SChweitzer’s artist’s studio has been transformed for the project, as is his way of working. He paints with a syringe, and wears rubber gloves, glasses and mouth protection. He is not afraid. “With the right protection, people with HIV can have normal intercourse as well.”

When I take the blood out of the fridge, it’s as if like the donor says to me: Come on, let’s paint. As if the person with whom’s blood I’m working guides my hand.”

Photo: Inside DAve SChweitzer’s artist’s studio. “I manipulate their blood in a respectful manner. You need to stay focused. I won’t drink when I’m working for example, and I don’t allow any unanounced visitors in.”