Visual AIDS is pleased to present our latest edition of Broadsides -- artist-designed projects promoting safer sex, harm reduction, and HIV prevention.
The Summer 2008 series includes:
- Limited edition tote bags designed by Amy Jean Porter.
- Four safer sex button designs by Noah Lyon. Available individually or in a 3" x 3" zip lock bag containing two buttons, a condom, and lube.
- Rubbers Are Fun! balloons designed by Michael Mitchell. Packaged in a 3" x 5.5" envelope with condoms and lube.
- Safer Sex Rules! 8.5" x 11" poster by William Powhida. Available by mail or downloadable.
- All Flesh ... 8.5" x 11" poster by Kate Huh designed in conjunction with the SIDE X SIDE exhibition. Available by mail or downloadable.
- Glove to Love You, Baby postcard designed by John Chaich. Available by mail or as an e-card.
Through the production and FREE distribution of Broadsides, Visual AIDS works with artists to address diverse communities in order to share the crucial message that AIDS IS NOT OVER.
Contact Visual AIDS for printed copies while supplies last. All Broadsides are available in bulk for the cost of shipping and handling. Additional donations to Visual AIDS are greatly appreciated.
For more information about the Summer 2008 Broadside artists and their projects, see statements and biographies below.
Artists' Statements and Bios
Amy Jean Porter
AIDS awareness is serious. There's too much at stake not to spend our greatest efforts on education and prevention. Sex, however, need not be serious, and is perhaps the best comic foil to the traumas of life. I was honored to be asked to contribute to the broadside project and decided to think upon the humor and fun of sex. Humor can be a sneaky, excellent way to open up ways to talk about the most serious of issues. I advocate the avoidance of skunk sex at all costs. Safer sex, on the other hand, is awesome.
Amy Jean Porter is an artist who grew up in Oklahoma and Arizona and currently lives in New Haven, Conn. Porter has drawn over one thousand species of animals for her ongoing project "All Species, All the Time." Individual series within the project include "North America Mammals Speak the Truth and Often Flatter You Unnecessarily," and "Freaked Out Monkeys in the Trees." Her drawings have been published in Cabinet and Flaunt magazines and McSweeney's, and exhibited in galleries across the United States and Europe. Her work is represented by Lisa Boyle Gallery in Chicago and g-module in Paris.
I like to make people think so I use a lot of double entendres in my work. Stuff that appeals to the dumbest of the dumb and people who think they're really smart ... all at the same time. The "Let's get it on" button is a very clear message ... Taking up just as much space on the button as the smooth pick up line is the radiant condom and a happy face. Let's (insert smiley face) have fun getting "it" a.k.a. "the condom" on your dick or my dick or both of our dicks. It's also a reference to the classic love-making anthem "Let's get it on" by Marvin Gaye. The smiling condom cartoon that says "COME ON IN!" is a penetration invitation, but it's also telling people where to put their cum ... in the tip of a condom. The "SAFE SEX Rules!" buttons reference classic punk rock and the metal bands. AIDS is a really serious issue that's not really addressed in these communities. If I can prevent one pimply teenager from getting AIDS with a punk rock button, then the Retard Riot Badge Bomb has done something truly awesome.
Noah Lyon (born September 11, 1979) is a New York City based artist. He lives in Brooklyn and works everywhere. He graduated from the Cooper Union in 2001. He is the founder of the absurdism known as Retard Riot, a funny network of radical individuals devoted to art, music, philosophy, semiotics, political science and food. He works in all mediums that appeal to the eyes and ears, most often beginning with drawing and ending with installation. He likes plants and making people laugh. www.retardriot.com
I was thrilled to be asked to participate in the project. I hope that my image of the condom clad penis, that expands with the balloon it's printed on, is both sexy and amusing. The health crisis looms larger than ever. The number of lives lost worldwide continues to climb. And this project reminds us that the battle rages on. But I hope that the sex-positive attitude that we descendants of the sexual revolution worked so hard to generate isn't lost in our zeal. The joy of sexual expression is not the enemy. AIDS is the enemy.
Michael Mitchell is an African-American visual artist involved in homo-erotic themes. He's a published member of the Leslie Lohman Gallery's Queer Men's Erotic Art Workshop. He also did performance painting for several years at The Lure for Pork. "I find performance painting rewarding in that it both demystifies the process and creates a feeling of intimacy and interaction with the audience. It makes the idea of fine art accessible."
My drawing for Visual AIDS is an attempt to superimpose a real voice, one that teens and young adults might recognize, over the official voice of a fictional handout on safer sex practices. The text for the work is drawn from an AIDS fact sheet widely available on the Internet that, among other things, promotes abstinence only. The reality of the fact sheet diverges from the experiences that my students share with me as a high school teacher. During the last eight years, the Bush Administration has promoted abstinence first at home and around the globe. It does a disservice to humanity to ignore the difficult choices people make and to moralize in the face of an epidemic. Research shows that condom distribution doesn't encourage sex and reduces the spread of HIV. I hope that the message in my work will ultimately make people think through their laughter about the politics of fear and the importance of harm reduction.
William Powhida is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, N.Y. He holds a BFA from Syracuse University and an MFA from Hunter College in painting. He has exhibited work at Schroeder Romero, N.Y.; Platform Gallery, Seattle, Wash.; Haines Gallery, San Francisco, Calif., and numerous art fairs. He was recently awarded the Benefit Residency at the Lower East Side Printshop where he produced the spring Mystery Print. His work was also included in Air Kissing: contemporary art about the art world at Momenta Art, Brooklyn, N.Y., which traveled to Arcadia University, Philadelphia, Pa.
In my work as an artist and a disability rights activist, I've spent many years thinking about the human body/mind and all the things that can happen within it or to it. The text in this broadside reflects notions of human fears. The image of the face is from a self-portrait I made when I was 18 years old, the year my first friend died of AIDS. His name was Bob. He got a cold and was dead three weeks later. It was not even called AIDS back then, it was called GRID (gay-related immune deficiency). My expression reflects stoic resolve in the face of an unknown future, eyes wide open, ready to bare witness. The vulva, ever present in my consciousness as a dyke, is from a medical text on the genitalia of homosexual women. I've removed it from its sterile, clinical context and placed it beside my face as a source of comfort and beauty. The warmth of my sexuality and my friendships within the queer community have nourished me throughout these years of the AIDS pandemic. My wish is that other people have had this experience as well, gaining a deep understanding for the importance of loving the human body with respect and seeing the suffering of all people as being equal.
Kate Huh is a NYC based artist/activist. She has exhibited her visual art and films throughout the United States and Europe since 1982. She is the creator of the zine Rebel Fux! (which she has published since 1997). Her film titles include: Rebel Fux! The Movie, 2000; Market This (produced in collaboration with the Paper Tiger TV collective), 2001; Punk Ass Kid, 2003; and War Dreams, 2007. Her work appears in Time Capsule, a Concise Encyclopedia of Women Artists published by Creative Time, 1995, and Dangerous Families published by Hawthorn Press, 2004. She is currently the co-director of MIX NYC, the Queer Experimental Film Festival.
John Chaich is a writer and designer living in New York. He has written on artistic responses to AIDS for Art & Understanding magazine. He also created the Art/Action/AIDS campaign for the AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland, available on the Visual AIDS Web site here.
For more information, contact Visual AIDS at info@visualAIDS.org.
For past Broadsides click here