Hugh Steers received a positive HIV diagnosis in 1987, ultimately succumbing to AIDS-related complication in 1995 at the age of 32. During his short, yet prolific career as a painter, the artist created raw, figurative paintings and works on paper that reflected the realities—the fear, alienation, isolation, and hunger for companionship—of life under the specter of a devastating disease. Although Steers's subjects are often sick and vulnerable, they are still imbued with a defiant eroticism that challenges the ravages of AIDS. In Straps (1993), the artist captures a man changing the dressing on a thigh lesion, a common symptom of the advancing virus. Limned in the soft light of the bathroom, his elegantly bowed and muscled form is suffused with an affirmative physicality that undercuts his illness.