For World AIDS Day 2018, local San Francisco artist Oscar Gallegos Zamora has created two interactive art installations for the community. “Leaves of Love” are on display now until December 10 at Strut (470 Castro Street, on the second floor) and at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation headquarters office (1035 Market Street, Suite 400).
The community is invited to interact with the tree-shaped installations by writing the names of loved ones affected by HIV on the “leaves.” The base of the installations are assembled from pieces of wood slotted together to form the structures’ shape. Zamora said the inspiration for the pieces came from balsa wood hobby kits.
Zamora said he is a member of the HIV community and honored to have his art displayed for World AIDS Day. “This is a big part of my life, since I know many people who are affected by HIV,” he said.
“It’s important for us to commemorate World AIDS Day with art because art has always been a part of the story of HIV in America,” said Baruch Porras-Hernandez, community events organizer for Strut. “Art has helped us educate, reflect, react—and also has helped the queer community heal. With this exhibit, we are inviting the community to come together and remember all of the voices we’ve lost.”
The “Leaves of Love” installations are not the first pieces of Zamora’s art to be displayed at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. In 2017, Zamora was selected as a featured artist for the gallery art wall on the second floor at Strut. For the “Physique & Fantasy” exhibit, Zamora created large shadowboxes with imagery pulled from vintage bodybuilding magazines.
“Those magazines have been around since the 1940s,” he said. “They were gay porn before gay porn was legal—but marketed as ‘bodybuilding’ magazines. The pictures taken of men in the magazine would be taken when the men were naked, but to get around obscenity laws, little loincloths would be painted onto them after the magazine was assembled. Then clients who subscribed to the magazines would know that all they had to do was scratch those loincloths right off!”
Zamora attended San Francisco State University where he focused on printmaking. Since graduating, he has in turns focused his art on collage art, assemblage art and a combination of the two. Many of his art pieces combine 2-D pieces into 3-D installations.
Find out more about how to participate in World AIDS Day 2018 at San Francisco AIDS Foundation: www.sfaf.org/WAD2018
The best way to fight HIV is to know your status. A simple test can determine if you are infected with the virus.
Our diverse programs help thousands of people every year. From testing to prevention to care, our services assist communities where need is greatest.