PRINT November 1994


SHAUN HAS ARRIVED FOR HIS CHECKUP. Looking perhaps ten years old, he poses in front of a seamless monotone backdrop dressed only in his Jockey briefs. His creamy, seraphic body, blushing with the first signs of maturity, has been taken hostage by a monstrous infection: marble-sized blisters trail down from the right corner of his mouth, cluster above his left knee, and overwhelm the left side of his stomach.

But check this out—the peculiarly opulent backdrop is colored the same sea green as Shaun’s eyes. This amplifies the look of familiarity he trains on the viewer, but doesn’t grant us laymen much access to the human drama of his plight: those eyes record Shaun’s dissociation from his ailment—he knows that it’s being looked at, not him. Yet his image doesn’t conform to the dictates of clinical photography either. Shaun doesn’t seem sadly resigned to being viewed as a printout of medical

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 1994 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.