Portrait of Princess Diana Created by HIV Positive Blood! Artist Shares a Powerful Message Behind the Painting
Artist creates portrait of Princess Diana using HIV positive blood. (Photo Credits: Conor Collins/Twitter)

UK-based acclaimed gay artist Conor Collins took to Twitter to share a portrait he made of the late Princess Diana. The twist - he used HIV positive blood and diamond dust. The motive behind using HIV positive blood was to spread a powerful message aiming to thwart stereotypes and stigma associated with those diagnosed as HIV positive. Collins, 29, posted a series of threads on Twitter along with Princess Diana's portrait as a tribute. In the thread, he explained why he had created the artwork.

Collins was inspired by a 1987 photo of Diana shaking hand of an HIV positive man at London's Middlesex Hospital. Collins told HuffPost that he wanted to tackle the lingering stigma around HIV/AIDS through his work for some time. He said, "The story of Diana came back into my mind and how she, without judgement, held the hand of a patient with HIV." He further added, "I realised Diana as a person - and her actions - were the perfect medium to try to express my message."

Collins Portrait of Princess Diana Made Using HIV Positive Blood

Series of Threads Followed Explaining the Motive Behind the Painting

He also embedded a short video clip of the work, which better demonstrates the glittering diamond dust.

Collins currently lives in Manchester and is a self-taught artist and has been painting past seven years. He declined to reveal where the blood for his latest work had come from. In an interview he said, "The blood itself isn't mine, however, due to confidentiality reasons I am afraid I can't share who donated it." He also said that the experiences of a friend had inspired him to address the issue of HIV stigma. Collins also tweeted saying that he was grateful for the response to his portrait and is happy that people are spreading the message behind it.

However, this isn't the first time that Collins has created politically charged works. Last year, he painted a portrait of US President Donald Trump. He made the portrait out of, as Collins describes - with his 'sexist, ignorant and bigoted statements' and he painted onto a wall of white washed dollars.

For people who think that artists should keep their works politics-free, Collins says, "If you want to get something done, you have to do it yourself. You can't leave changing the word to politicians." "Just change the world in your own way and the rest of the world catch up," he added. Collins paintings are powerful delivering an important message. It just shows that how strongly art can stir up thoughts and emote feelings in a beautiful way.