New York: ACT UP, 1989. Offset printed poster. 24 x 43 in. Very good, some bumps and small tears to edges. Item #6190
Created in conjunction with the New York-based activist group AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), Haring designed this poster in 1989, a year after he was diagnosed, and the same year he established the Keith Haring Foundation for AIDS. This poster was utilized by ACT UP in a wheatpasting campaign across New York City in early 1990: New Yorkers were faced with this powerful image on buildings, walls, buses, subways, and billboards. The poster’s design features three figures replicating the proverbial “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” three wise monkeys, echoing the struggles faced by those living with HIV/AIDS and the oppressive government, religious, health, and social institutions that failed to respond to and properly acknowledge the epidemic whilst the death toll and purposeful disinformation surrounding the disease continued to rise throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. Incorporating ACT UP’s now iconic slogans “Silence = Death” and “Ignorance = Fear”, Haring’s eye-catching design urged passersby to act up, and fight AIDS. Most copies of the poster were lost or detryoyed by weather and time.
The most recognizable and striking example of Keith Haring’s late career political and activist poster works, and a clean copy.