AIDS Crisis and Art - How Artists and Writers conveyed the Gay Experience
Since it was first detected in 1981, AIDS has claimed the lives of millions of people across the world. Sadly, gay communities in major cities were blamed for the rapid spread of the virus. This marginalization of gay men and women served as a scapegoat for the US government’s failures to not only educate the public, but to conduct the research to aid in the proper treatment for those infected.
As a result, the AIDS crisis became a catalyst for artistic expression, marking the emergence of some of the most influential gay writers and artists. Multidisciplinary Artists, like David Wojnawicz and Joe Brainard were active in this vital juncture for the gay community. Most of their work documented the gay rights movement at the height of the epidemic, while giving voice to all those greatly affected by the disease. The aim of the these artists was to portray a picture in which they asked for the society to provide proof of why it was wrong to be different more so due to the fact that there were so many of them who lived a life of secrecy with regard to their sexual orientation.
Prior to discovery of AIDS in 1981, a conservative gay movement referred to as the Mattachine Society had been established in 1950 (Leber). Its primary aim was to call for law reform asse