All the Young Men Dying bears witness to the devastation of
AIDS. After reading Randy Shilts’ history of the epidemic, And the
Band Played On, Lakich wrote, “I was haunted by the image of Patient
Zero, an individual thought to be the carrier of AIDS to North America...Patient
Zero began to embody the double stigma that persons with AIDS bear as victims
of a virus and targets of fear, hatred and discrimination.
In a pose reminiscent of Michelangelo’s The Dying Slave, the arms hold a head made of a movie light lens. The amethyst geode embedded in the torso reminded Lakich of an open wound. The stylized torso and geode denote the disease’s ravaging of the body while the target-like head signifies the object of society’s persecution. The shimmering movement of the pastel crackle tube suggest the resiliency and persistence of the spirit even in the midst of death.