Here To Inspire

Blood Works: The Sanguineous Art of Robert Sherer

The medium is the message in these drawings rendered in blood — both HIV-negative and HIV-positive.

BY Christopher Harrity

December 01 2012 4:00 AM ET

Stigmata
HIV+ blood/paper
18" x 19" oval
Collection: Private

Sherer: Christian martyrs purportedly developed bodily markings (stigmata) corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Christ. Stigmata can also mean any identifying marks of shame or discredit or diagnostic signs of a disease. The stigma of being HIV+ and the subsequent discrimination frequently creates an unusual sort of martyrdom. Several of my friends with AIDS have spoken of themselves as “fallen comrades on the battlefield of love.” The stigma of being HIV− can also create an unusual sort of martyrdom. As a direct result of my own survivor’s guilt for not being infected while my friends died around me, I developed sympathetic symptoms of the disease for many years.

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