The AIDS Activist Project

Robert Garcia

Box 5- Robert GarciaRobert Garcia, New York, 1990

When Robert came to the studio, he was wearing a black t-shirt and leather suspenders. In these photos, his eyes and smile really shine through. For as outspoken, vocal, and visible he was in many of the ACT UP demos and in the press, I caught a bit of shyness in Robert.

After we did the shoot and I thought I had “the shot”, I asked Robert if he wanted to play around, photographically speaking, that is.

We tired on several of my button down shirts and settled on this white one. Then I thought, unbuttoned! Then I thought, fan!. I put the main light up very high, turned the fan on and told Robert to “have fun and go with it!”

We had some great fun during this part of the shoot, Roberts playful side came out, and I caught the great smile he had.

A few days later, he was trying to fax me his statement to go with his portrait. For some reason, our fax machines didn’t like each other and the fax would not go through. As we were on the phone trying to figure it out, I asked him to just read it to me and I would write it down. He was a little hesitant, but eventually he read it to me:

“So, I would whisper to myself as I was marching, shouting, demonstrating, fighting back:                                   “Robert, every step is a tear you don’t want to cry, every arrest is an act of hope.”                                                                I don’t know what ACT UP represents, a little order in this chaos we know as the AIDS Crisis.”

Robert Garcia died in 1993 at the age of 31.



5 thoughts on “Robert Garcia

  1. Hello Tracy and Bill,

    I am Robert’s sister Lorraine Garcia. Bill: Thank you for the wonderful picture of my brother. Our parents are still alive and I was able to present them (and my sibligs) with this pic along with the caption from the online magazine commerating the 25th year battle with Aids.

    Tracy, I also think a wikipedia for my brother is great because I do come across people time to time that remember my brother and one young man did a college paper on him many years ago in CA.

    Ashooge (Thank you).
    Lorraine Garcia
    Chihene Nde Nation of NM

  2. I just watched a Donohue Show from 1990 which Robert Garcia was on the panel. I was sad to learn that he passed due to complications of AIDS. I would really like to find more information about him and his contribution to the movement. Does anyone know his story, background, etc. enough to create a wikipedia for him?

    • Tracy, since I’ll be relaunching the kickstarter campaign soon, I will post around and see what information I can find and pass it on to you.

      I think it is a great idea to do a wikipedia for Robert.

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