Created for the Art Attack On AIDS Benefit to help raise funds for the Wellness Network, this signed silkscreen from 1988 is a limited edition of 100 by Keith Haring. Art Attack On AIDS (yellow) features two vibrating figures rendered in bold line and shown with hollow faces and stomachs, punctured by the fists of the figure opposite, creating a symmetrical criss-cross of limbs.
Since the brutal murder of John Lennon, shot to death in 1980, Haring became obsessed with creating images of figures with holes in their stomachs as a means to express the emptiness of grief. Haring developed this motif to create images that represent the violence inflicted on the bodies of people living with AIDS and the grief felt throughout the epidemic that hit New York in the 1980s. This print shows the bodies both violated and violating one another, revealing the impact of AIDS as an intertwined embrace.
In his use of simplified form and recognisable symbols throughout his work, Haring produces a true public art that communicates clear-cut narrative views on socio-political injustices of the time, notably the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. Art Attack on AIDS (yellow) uses a clear visual vocabulary as a form of protest art that can be understood and easily recognised by the masses.