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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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