ARTWORK > I Was a 20th Century Lesbian

White line woodcut, ACT UP, gay history, pink triangle, silence = death
DEFY (ACT UP)
White Line Woodcut and Rubber Stamping
14.5" x 20.5" (37 x 52.4 cm)

ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) started on March 24, 1987, at a meeting at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in New York City, when a large group of almost 300 people agreed that things were so dire that it was time to form a group devoted to political action in response to the AIDS crisis. The group was leaderless and basically anarchist with a committee structure loosely overseen by a coordinating committee. Actions and proposals were brought to the coordinating committee and then to the floor for a vote.

From the beginning, many ACT UP members were artists and graphic designers who played to the media, including a group of six men who called themselves the Silence = Death Project. The year before ACT UP, these men wheat pasted SILENCE = DEATH posters featuring a large pink triangle on a black background in the streets. They gave this logo and slogan to ACT UP to use freely. This print is a riff on the SILENCE = DEATH slogan.

12" x 18" (30.5 x 45.7 cm) image size
Mawata paper
Edition: 3