Fever Within

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
Found tin, colored pencil, nails, on wood
66.5 x 30 inches
Collection of
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco museum purchase American Art Trust Fund and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

In 1995 Lockett undertook a series of works that presented the figure of a nude seated cross-legged on a small carpet or barren floor. He titled the pieces Fever Within, referring most immediately to the HIV with which he had been diagnosed in 1994 or 1995. Lockett made at lease half a dozen iterations of Fever Within, including several roughly four-foot-square variations and a rectangular composition fashioned from two salvaged metal panels stacked vertically and nailed to a recycled wood support. By early 1995 both Lockett and his girlfriend knew they had been infected with HIV, and each blamed the other for the transmission of the disease. Betrayed by love, exchanging accusations of who communicated the disease to whom, Lockett spoke to the fate he shared with his partner through the lone feminine figure visually isolated against a ruined and indefinite metal background.