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My first HIV test was done in Houston in 1986 after I moved to Texas from New York City. My pretest counseling indicated that I was at risk for getting a positive result. During the stressful two weeks while I waited for my results (HIV-), I drew my arm and cut the image. The print was proofed on flat paper but subsequently editioned using molded paper.

Read Justin Thomas’ Smith College Museum of Art Staff Pick blog (July 29, 2021) on Smith’s impression of Blood Test.

Blood Test
Woodcut (Texas pecan) printed with molded paper (abacca, cotton, linters)
48" x (base) 16" x (top) 12½". Edition: 6

Blood Tests Blood Tests
As the pandemic spread into people of color, from the earlier infected gay male population, I printed the arms increasingly with colored pulp. The 1990 San Antonio Blue Star Art Space exhibition Eric Avery: Cast Paper Woodcuts 1988-1990 installation included “Blood Tests” exhibiting this infected population change from white to people of color.
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