Death Man

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
1986
Ballpoint pen, poster paint, glue, glitter, on poster board
22 x 22 inches

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Description: 

Luster Willis spent most of the last decade of his life in a wheelchair, having suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. The subject of death was never far from his attention.

Luster Willis spent most of the last decade of his life in a wheelchair, having suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. The subject of death was never far from his attention. "We all think about death. We all going to die. I like to show it coming." Death Man, who strongly resembles Willis's earlier personifications of death as a mummy, a skeleton, or zombie, walks out of an unspecified structure above which hovers a dark cloud. Two pairs of people can be seen outside the building. One pair is fighting, the other caressing. Death, the mercenary soldier figure, turns to the left as he emerges, moving toward the combatants. "Make love, not war" is the message.