ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

HIVINE is written by HIV positive women but still with a sense of humour

Archive for January, 2013

Home is where the HAART is

Salvador Dali portrait

Salvador Dali portrait

MadI’m spitting feathers as my mum used to say.  Life can seem very unfair at times especially if you have HIV. But it can seem doubly unfair if you have HIV and like me are also an artist because as a general rule you have to be dead before you start making any money and how unfair is that?

It was an article in the Guardian today about the sale of a portrait by Salvador Dali that set me off.  It brought back the past and the things I try not to think about, like how I contracted HIV and how badly I was treated by my partners family and the Executors of his estate, who after his death were supposed to support me as an artist.  If it was up to them, aside from not having the proverbial pot to piss in, I would never paint another picture. Although Salvador Dali very rarely painted portraits he did paint a portrait of my deceased partner Dr Brian Mercer OBE FRS the inventor of Netlon, which I would imagine would also raise a few million if it were to be sold.  

Salvador Dalí portrait of Mona Bismarck up for auction at Sotheby’s

 Dalí’s ironic painting of famously well-dressed woman portrayed in black rags expected to fetch up to £2m. So why was Mona Williams, wife of a man once considered the richest in America, depicted in art in grim black rags?

“He was having fun, I think,” said Samuel Valette, a surrealist art expert at Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s estimates the painting is worth about £2m, a conservative valuation given rising prices for surrealist art.

 The rare portraits Dali painted were often tongue in cheek. For example when he painted Brian he portrayed him with blue eyes and blond hair looking angelic. My portrait of Brian which I painted shortly before that of Dali portrays him as he really was, dark, controlling and demonic. It is interesting to note that we both placed emphasis on Brian’s hand. It is also interesting to note that my portrait, should it be auctioned, would reach nowhere near two million – unless possibly when I’m dead of course.

The Spider and the Fly by Adrienne Seed

The Spider and the Fly by Adrienne Seed

 The main art in my life now has an H in it – as in HAART, highly active antiretroviral therapy, which I have to chuck down my neck every night as I bemoan the path that led me here. I also bemoan the fact that everything is covered in bloody Netlon as I rip it off bulbs of garlic and Spanish onions then chuck it in the recycling bin. Brian’s carbon footprint.

Dali once covered his house in Netlon – see photo. 

bri fi 3

Yes, life and especially art is unfair in the extreme and I should know, I’ve been battling with it all my life – as I now battle with HIV. I should have listened to Oscar Wilde and his famous quote,  “All art is quite useless” – or – art is short for Arthur as in Arthur Dick and in retrospect, I should have stayed away from them too!

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2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 10,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 17 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

New Year’s Revolution

New Year’s Revolution – new blog htpp://

Resolution number one – refrain from kissing Lady Doodles after applying lip gloss otherwise end up with worse blonde moustache than all ready have.

Resolution number two – give up the theeegoreeeeeyos, Spanish for fags, plus refrain from smoking roll ups after applying lip gloss otherwise end up with strands of tobacco and bits of liquorice rolling paper stuck to lips – not attractive especially combined with doggy tash.

Resolution number three – maybe just refrain from wearing lip gloss?

Resolution number four – never get inebriated and miss taking meds – did it three times over festive period and not proud of self. Mustn’t give my old mate HIV an open window to sneak back in and become detectable again – he can sneak in through the tiniest crack you know – no pun intended.

Funny how I always think of HIV as a male. Wonder if positive males think of theirs as female? It’s probably down to me trying to speak Spanish with Luis and the confusion over what is an el (male) and what is a la (female). We have endless discussions about it – we live a very thrilling life as you can see!

Me – “So la mesa (table) is feminine, so is the kitchen and so is the bed. No surprise there then,” I sniff with feminist contempt.

“Of khorse,” Luis affirms with superior Spanish macho-ness.

“But then a hand (la mano) is feminine and (el dedo) a finger is male,” at least I didn’t say dildo! “Why’s that? That’s daft if you ask me.”

“Ees snot daft, ees Latin.”

“What a man’s willy then?” I demand rudely, “That has to be a male, surely?”

Apparently, ‘ees snot’ and a woman’s is a male. How confusing is that? And what’s even more confusing, a bottom is masculine but buttocks are feminine.

“In hinglish it heasy,” I tell Luis, “Everything is the – the table, the chair, we don’t have to give our pieces of furniture personalities or genders.”

Luis shrugs his shoulders and looks superior, “eees not confusing to the Spaneeesh or los Italianos or los francaises, only to hinglish peoples,” he smirks implying that we are all stupid.

“Well, what’s more confusing than having a bottom that doesn’t know whether it’s a male or a female?” I ask him, although it could come in handy I suppose if you swing both ways.

Resolution Five – take more Spanish lessons.

Wonder if a resolution is a male or a female – male probably as it is a command of sorts and I’ll probably never do it – especially if a man tells me to.

Resolution six – me telling self – must get back to my activist work and raise more awareness in order to combat HIV stigma.

This year’s revolution!