This is my friend Dr. Eric Avery and he works in an AIDS ward in Texas. He's giving a massage to an AIDS patient who is also a doctor. He said people with full–blown AIDS, in this case, carposi sarcoma, are very rarely touched. Eric then talked about putting on rubber gloves, and he didn't put on rubber gloves because that was his friend. Dr. Avery's one of the activists that I've met by doing this work, and he's given me an amazing gift of knowledge. He says that art has the ability to change deep structures, like alchemy. He said life before art's life before art, life before art. And he himself is one of the greatest artists. He's an artist doctor, and he actually cut out this print. I drew it on the liner block, and then he cut it out, so we did this together.
This is part of a series that was published in the Village Voice, and it was all in Eric's unit that night. Went there for a week and drew the patients and doctors and nurses and social workers and cleaners. I just reported everything I saw and became a kind of visual journalist. It was a great honor to be with the doctors and the patients and the cleaners and even the people counting the AIDS virus down in the basement. I did many, many sketches of each part of the hospital process, and just how close the doctors were and how upset they were when they lost patients. And I think I recorded all that.