Title: HIV, Mon Amour

Photographer: Andy Warhol
Author: Tory Dent
Publisher: Sheep Meadow Press
Designer: Not listed


Image Title: Big Electric Chair 1967
Photo Genre: Silkscreen/Appropriation
Book Genre: Poetry

The title 'HIV, Mon Amour' refers to 'Hiroshima, Mon Amour', Alain Resnais' 1959 film about a love affair between a French woman and a Japanese man in post - World War II Hiroshima. Like Renais' film, 'HIV, Mon Amour' references the act of love in the context of tragedy on a grand scale.
The image used for the books cover is Andy Warhol's 'Big Electric Chair', done in 1967. This is an interesting choice for two reasons: Warhol the celebrity lived a lifestyle that was somewhere between openly gay and closeted, depending on who you ask. Warhol the artist was a master of appropriation and dry, sardonic wit. Both these factors make the cover image fitting for a book about AIDS with a title so poignantly clever and referential.
Warhol the appropriator has had a huge effect on popular culture: Designer John Sposato cribs not only the electric chair for his cover of Michael Meltsner's 'Cruel and Unusual', but Warhol's strategy for repetition as well. KB

See the 'Point of Interest' image at right for John Sposato's appropriation of Andy Warhol's appropriation.