By the age of 35, Philly native Terrence Gore had traveled the world as an incredibly gifted jack-of-all-trades. His long list of titles include art curator, gallery owner, dancer, hairstylist, caterer and interior designer. Then in 2005, Gore tested positive for HIV. Not long afterward, he was diagnosed with a rare disease that eats away at the protective coating around the brain. Most who contract the virus die within months.
But Gore—now in his mid-40s—is still busy tapping into his array of artistic talents, only now with greater meaning. In sharing his story, he hopes to empower others battling debilitating illnesses while also raising awareness about the realities of HIV/AIDS.
Having spent two years in and out of a coma and struggling with persistent seizures, temporary blindness and partial paralysis—which he continues to endure on the entire right side of his body—Gore was forced to learn to create with his left hand. Starting with a small watercolor painting in his hospital room, and with the help of doctors, friends and his own sheer will, Gore was eventually able to produce a collection of 24 pieces.
Made up of mixed media, collage and acrylics, many of Gore’s works take inspiration from the everyday objects that surrounded him—like a bowl of fruit. But perhaps the most telling piece in the collection is his self-portrait: Created on a 100-year-old window frame, the image is constructed from various fabrics. It’s not hard to feel emotionally drawn to it; his dark, intense eyes peering out from the frame speak volumes. (N.F.)
Through June 12. Art From the Heart Gallery, 535 South St. artfromtheheartphilly.blogspot.com