Barton Lidice Benes, a provocative sculptor and POZ contributor, has died of AIDS-related complications, The New York Times reports. He was 69. Benes was a New York artist known for his use of “everyday items” in his work. After testing positive for HIV, Benes began using items of the epidemic (like pills and tubes) in his work and focused on HIV-related subject matter. Though his work was sometimes deemed too controversial to show, his pieces have been exhibited internationally and included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Smithsonian. From 1997 to 1999, Benes contributed regularly to POZ, including his “Aunt Evelyn’s Letters” series, which combined text from letters by his late Aunt Evelyn with his artwork.

To read the Times article, click here

To read the POZ August 1999 cover story on Benes, click here.

To read Sean Strub’s blog post about Benes, click here.

To read Shawn Decker’s blog post about Benes, click here.

To view his artwork at the POZ Pinterest site, click here.