Skip to main content

Scribble #33

1987 (negative); 2015 (print)
David Lebe (American, born 1948)

David Lebe began his Scribble series out of a compulsion to keep busy while his friend and former lover Barry Kohn was dying from AIDS. Lebe’s previous light drawings—created in the dark by moving a handheld light in front of a camera with an open aperture—outlined objects or figures, but this series involved expressive, free-form motion.

Although he first dismissed the work as frivolous, Lebe later realized that he had created the series in response to the AIDS crisis, writing, "I saw that the clear light filled vessels and the animated lines of light represented a kind of life energy detached from any solid body—spirits without bodies. . . . And I knew then that the pictures were relevant; that they had come out of my experiences of the epidemic."

Object Details

We are always open to learning more about our collections and updating the website. Does this record contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Contact us here.

Please note that this particular artwork might not be on view when you visit. Don’t worry—we have plenty of exhibitions for you to explore.