Evolving out of Los Angeles’ underground scenes, Ronald Athey is a self-taught artist who started making performance and sound work in 1981. In the 90s, when his work became identified with his HIV status and the ongoing pandemic, Athey’s live work toured internationally and was acclaimed for both form and activism. Though correctly categorized as a body, HIV, or abject artist, the recurring subjects of his work are esoteric queries, examining the nature of shamanism, Spiritualism (particularly automatic writing) his Pentecostal past, and the Catholic miracle of Incorruptible flesh.
(Excerpt and image above selected from grant proposal. Artwork is copyright of the artist.)