Philadelphia Museum of Art

David Wojnarowicz’s Untitled (Falling Buffalo), 1988–89, and his entire eight-image “Sex Series,” 1988–89, are part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collection.

Of David’s “Sex Series,” museum curators write: “Circles with inset imagery recur throughout Sex Series, which consists of eight photographic montages. Most of them depict sexual encounters, but here we also see a microscopic view of cells, a fragment of news text about a gay bashing, and a scene of helmeted riot police photographed by Wojnarowicz at a demonstration by the AIDS awareness group ACT UP.

“Circles are an important motif throughout his art and frequently appear as timepieces, coins, and the moon. The circles in Sex Series can be read as all of these things—time and money being critical to combat AIDS. But they also read as interior close-ups of events happening within the larger scenes; as views through telescopes or cameras; and as white blood cells, which carry the HIV virus through the body.”

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