“Troy Simon Burdine II” is Napa artist Richard Carter’s powerful, elegiac, tripartite piece memorializing the friend named in the title. When Troy Burdine was dying of AIDS, he approached Carter and asked that upon death, Richard cast him to form a whole body death mask, thus fulfilling Troy’s wish to be immortalized. It was also Burdine’s intention to help establish a greater awareness of AIDS through his posthumous collaboration with Carter. Troy passed away on October 27, 1997. Richard made the plaster cast of his body the following day. Troy was then cremated. Richard used the cast to form a clay body, which was fired in a wood burning kiln in April, 1998.
Richard spent most of the following summer at the Yuba River meditating on what to do with his new material. A series of grid pieces using clay sections of Troy’s body followed. The first of the series, entitled “Memory,” is a part of the di Rosa collection.
At the end of 2000, Carter felt he had exhausted his possibilities with Troy and assembled the last work using Troy’s mold. It consists of both halves of the plaster cast flanking the full body image made in 1998, which now contains Troy’s ashes. “Troy Simon Burdine II” is Troy’s own urn and his dream to be immortalized.
Rene diRosa Preserve curator