Artist explores love and sexuality; uses blood as medium

Atlanta artist and Kennesaw State University visual arts faculty member Robert Sherer opened a new…

Georgia (Nov 12, 2002) — Artist explores love and sexuality; uses blood as medium

Cheryl Anderson Brown


Atlanta artist and Kennesaw State University visual arts faculty member Robert Sherer opened a new exhibition of his work Nov. 15 at the Center for AIDS and Humanity in Atlanta. Several of the works in the exhibition were shown at the International Triennial of Contemporary Art in Paris earlier this fall. All of the paintings and drawings are done entirely in blood.

Sherer's earlier work consisted of rich‚ realistic oil paintings‚ but his more recent work has moved in a new direction. His current work focuses on sexual attraction in the HIV era. These are extraordinary paintings and pen−and−ink botanical drawings. However‚ instead of ink and paint‚ Robert uses his own blood as the medium.

Following a studio accident with an X−acto knife‚ Sherer began experimenting with the blood on his canvas. He consulted chemists to develop a process to prevent the fluid from coagulating and developed a canvas−preparation and finishing process to keep the color from turning too brown.

Then‚ Sherer began working on this series of paintings and drawings‚ marrying the subject and the medium.

"In the last several decades‚ because of the HIV epidemic‚ we have begun to think about and worry about blood a lot more often‚" Sherer said. "Even Robin Williams has joked that we should ask for blood samples before starting a new relationship. These works explore the dangers‚ fears and beauty we encounter in our relationships."

The exhibition‚ "Bloodworks: An Exploration of Sexual Attraction in the Age of AIDS‚" is presented by the Center for AIDS and Humanity‚ a partnership between the AIDS Survival Project‚ AIDS Treatment Initiatives and Positive Impact. The Center is located at 159 Ralph McGill Blvd.‚ Suite 500 in Atlanta. The exhibition continues through Dec. 20. For hours and additional information‚ call 404−874−7926.

Robert Sherer is represented by the Trinity Gallery in Atlanta.

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Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of 15‚600 from 118 countries. The fifth largest out of 34 institutions in the University System of Georgia‚ KSU offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit