“Blood keeps us alive”

“Aids? You can take a pill for that!” A misconception that artist DAve SChweitzer heard once too often. With his exhibition of paintings made with the blood of HIV positive donors, he wants to wake up the public. “If necessary with a smack in the face.”

The paintings look like hieroglyphs. Burgundy signs on a white canvas. All the paintings carry as a title the name and age of the donor, and the mention: HIV+, except for the one SChweitzer made with his own, negative blood. “That one is to show that you can’t tell the difference by looking at them. So it’s a message to not stigmatize people with HIV or treat them any differently.”

In order to paint their abstract portrait, SChweitzer had interviews with the donors, to get to know them. “Each painting seems therefore made by two people: the donor and I.”

Photo: DAve SChweitzer also used his own infected blood.* “Not to shock people, but to sensitize.”

*This error was corrected in a later edition of the same newspaper, entitled “Blood of artist DAve SChweitzer not infected”.