Edible Art Pieces Redefines Interactive Galleries
Image Credit: "Untitled" (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)

Amidst the politically and socially charged artworks demanding focus on the AIDS crisis, Félix González-Torres's seemingly everyday item artworks could be overlooked by those who are not paying attention. Consistent and uniform installations are commonly associated with a sequence of candy spills, where a pile of candy is piled in corners of galleries or flat on the ground. 

González-Torres gave viewers the option to remove a piece of candy from the pile to eat, save, lose, or throw away, giving the artwork a tangible aspect that allows viewers to choose how they interact with the piece. 

The resources and energy that visitors spend on a routine act may have been used at home or the restaurant cashier counter. A commonplace object is transformed into a piece of art by the artist's piles of sweets, which are regularly refilled by backstage workers. The works' subdued tone alludes to broader themes outside the AIDS crisis, and the candies end up serving as a keepsake of brutality, love, grief, and the human condition. 

Still, these didactic pieces of art evoke qualities that are not addressed in the conventional Postmodern story. The candy series, in contrast to a static painting or sculpture, maintains agency by requiring labour from both museum staff and visitors. The binary explanations of form and content have restricted interpretations of these pieces of art, but the interactive element blurs conventional lines that prevent a deeper understanding of González-Torres's performative style. 

The candy spills present more than just a sacrament-like offering; they also create a subjective and experiential feature because of the multiple relationships formed between the installation and its participants, starting with the curator and ending in the visitor's mouth until replenished by a museum worker again. 

González-Torres's candy pieces take on a new meaning when viewed as multi-part works of art. This perspective also introduces a dynamic new angle to his supposedly object-based artworks. By influencing and changing these stand-alone sections, participants integrate into the overall composition and assume authorship over González-Torres. 

The candy spills have evolved into a social rite that is up to interpretation rather than being limited to tangible works that reflect the artist's personal experiences.

When Portrait of Ross is stored, it is ethereal, and it only comes to life when it is on exhibit. The piece parodies the institutionalized notions of value and the art market created by capitalist regimes, as well as Bataille's analogous concept of "bourgeois prisons."

The utility of work is limited by constructed assumptions of significance and worth, which are subverted in Portrait of Ross by emphasising the banal and intangible. The project is the result of unseen effort, and the candies keep using resources for maintenance and resupply. The piece has the desired exclusivity and level of authorship because the exhibitor must reconstruct it each time it is put on show.

The ideal representation of the portrait is thus never consistent since the artwork is altered each time it is displayed. At the same time, 175 pounds is still the perfect weight. 

Now, isn't that amazing? What do you think of it?