Artist Protests FDA Policy With Sculpture Using Blood From Gay Men

"If I cannot donate blood to save lives, at least I can donate blood for art," says one contributor to Jordan Eagles' "Blood Mirror."

The FDA is considering replacing its lifetime ban on gay men donating blood with a year of celibacy, but artist Jordan Eagles isn’t popping the champagne.

“How many gay men do I know that are actually going to be celibate for 12 months?” says Eagles. “Gay men that I know who are married, that are monogamous with each other, [aren’t]. What seemed like a step in the right direction actually feels like it’s worse.”

Illuminations/Jordan Eagles

Frustrated with the FDA’s refusal to adopt a science-based policy, Eagles assembled nine gay, bisexual and trans men to donate blood, which he transferred into a seven-foot clear resin column. The finished work, Blood Mirror, is on view at American University from September 12 to October 18.

Blood Mirror/Jordan Eagles

Contributors include an 88-year-old priest, an Army captain and a co-founder of Gay Men’s Health Crisis. “If I cannot donate blood to save lives, at least I can donate blood for art,” said Nigerian activist Oliver Anene.