Victor L. Laureano Panel Primary Source Description

The following is a description based write up on a panel from the AIDS Quilt. The Aids Quilt is a memorial meant to recognize those that have died from AIDS. In this, a family member or loved one who has lost a person to AIDS is able to commemorate their legacy by creating a memorial. Each panel is unique in the way that the life of each person can be briefed through this art. As a student, I plan to conduct research through through the pieces on the quilt in order to bring a story to life. After visiting the NAMES Project gallery (117 Luckie St. NW, Atlanta, 30303)– a particular quilt block caught my attention. The panel of Victor L. Laureano is simple, in essence, but when looked at closely  – an entire legacy can be brought to life. I plan to do so.

Description

The panel is found on block #811 and makes up 6 x 3 feet, on a 12 x 12 feet block, this is the size of all of the panels – no more, no less. Placed in the mid-right side of the block, among eight others, the base of the Laureano’s panel is a velour, pitch-black background. 

The velour is dark, allowing the colors on the supporting pieces to stand out. The panel has no border, but is a simply placed black velour cloth. The muse’s name, “Victor L. Laureano” is made out with broad gold lettering in the center of the panel. Beneath the name lies the dates “1941-1988”, in a slightly smaller font. Surrounding the names are various pieces of fabric. To the left is palm tree, with what appears to be a monkey sitting at its base. Atop the name are two separate fabrics displaying two flags. The top right of the panel displays a rainbow, while beneath it lies a black and white portrait of the famous Marilyn Monroe. As I further analyze and observe the panel, I will use the subtle clues to draw more information on Mr. Laureano.

Victor Laureano?

I was drawn to this panel by it’s simplicity. However, upon doing my reasearch I became stumped. Mr. Victor Laureano appears to have been an average person – unlike some of the panels of slightly known people. Google searches only brought forth facebook profiles and pictures of various people. I then pondered changing to a new panel – but nothing caught my eyes as Laureano’s panel did. I decided to use what the panel gave me, as means to reveal a life.

LIFE in Gold 

The words on the panel are written in bold, gold lettering. The gold is of a light essence, giving a feel of elegance as well as humility. The center if the panel reads, “Victor L. Laureano” – the subject of the quilt. Beneath the name lies the numerals signifying Laureano’s  dates of birth and death. (1941-1988). Laureno passed away when he was 47 years old.

Symbolism

On the panel sits various images. The American and Puerto Rican flags lie side by side. From this, one can draw that Laureano was of Puerto Rican and American heritage – seemingly proudly. However, the placement of these flags can bring forth political questioning. Being that Puerto is apart of the United States, it might not be necessary to separate the flags. However, this is typically done from a cultural standpoint. In order to display inclusion of both American and Puerto Rican heritage, one might represent both of the nations flags.

The panel also houses a palm tree, and towards the base of the tree sits a monkey. This lovely depiction is a way to display island life. In Puerto Rico, it is not rare to see such animals, being that it is a tropical island. This palm tree is a lovely way to give island feels – also displaying a sense of warmth, innocence and culture. The rainbow on the panel gives happy vibrations. Rainbows display a sense of peace, happiness, renewal, freedom. My guess is Victor Lauerano embodied each of these words – which is why those that created his panel used this symbol. The rainbow can also represent LGBQT culture, so, perhaps Laureano was homosexual.  Marilyn Monroe (was prominent at the time in Leareanos life) is often seen as a symbol of sex appeal, independence, class, and fun. Even today, many look up to her a form of inspiration, so for Leaureano being born in the time of Marilyn Monroe – he might have seen her as a celebrity. Everyone loved her at the time so maybe she was his favorite.  

 

 

 

The Life of Laureano

Based on the panel, Laureano lived from 1941-1988, in this time, many pivotal points in American & Puerto Rican history occur. In 1941, the U.S. had entered World War II, (over 75,000 Puerto Ricans fought in the war) and by the time Laureano was about 3 – the Cold War(1944)  had commenced. About six years later, when Laureano was about 11, Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States. Being that Laureano is of Puerto Rican decent, this made life easier in terms of access to certain goods – as well as travel between the two nations. In 1959, the Cuban Revolution occurred which was an important moment of unity for other Hispanic countries. However, in spite of the many historical moments that occurred while Laureano was alive, the topic of AIDS was not very prevalent until his near death. The first official recognition for AIDS was in 1981. At this time Laureano was about 40 years old, 7 years before his death. By 1984 scientists uncover the virus that affected T-cell which then caused the disease.

#Panel, #PuertoRican, #American, #Culture, #47, #Monroe, #Sunny, #US&Puerto Rico Video

 

Works Cited 

Quilt , NAMES. “Exploring the Quilt .” AIDS Quilt Touch, aidsquilttouch.org/experience-quilt. 

American History Timeline, Siteseen Ltd, www.datesandevents.org/events-timelines/14-american-history-timeline.htm. 

“North America/.” World Atlas – Maps, Geography, travel, 7 Apr. 2017, www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/caribb/puertorico/prtimeln.htm.

TimeMagazine. “Is Puerto Rico Part Of The U.S? Here’s What To Know About The Unincorporated Territory | TIME.” YouTube, YouTube, 26 Sept. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WbMu0F6XjQ. 

Wilson, Jacque. “Timeline: AIDS moments to remember.” CNN, Cable News Network, 13 Apr. 2016, www.cnn.com/2013/03/04/health/timeline-hiv-aids-moments/index.html.