Félix González-Torres (American/Cuban, 1957–1996) fused aspects of Conceptual Art, Minimalism, and political activism into his installations and Performance Art. Born in Cuba, González-Torres grew up in Puerto Rico and moved to New York City in 1979. He created his works, often characterized as “democratic,” to invite public interactions; for instance, he displayed work on billboards and exhibited mounds of candy, which visitors were generously encouraged to consume. Other works gently reflected his experience as a gay man, and grappled with death, as he and his lover Ross were both diagnosed with AIDS. Though his work was rarely aggressively political, Gonzalez-Torres was aware that his national and sexual identity was political by nature, and frequently alluded to it, as in his piece tracking a declining T-cell count. Gonzalez-Torres died in 1996 at the age of 38 due to complications from AIDS. After his death, his reputation has only grown; The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation was created in 2002, and the artist was selected as the posthumous representative of the United States to the Venice Biennale in 2007.