“This is to enrage you.” — Gran Fury

Recognition of this work likely depends on your age. The activist art collective Gran Fury was a faction of ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) in the early 1990’s. They were one of several collectives that used graphics to shake people out of complacency and call attention to the hypocrisy that surrounded the AIDS pandemic.
It worked.
In its time, the work was scathing, funny, and furious. Gran Fury depicted President Reagan (who never mentioned “AIDS” in his entire two presidential terms) with Carposi Sarcoma, likened the Catholic Cardinal’s hat to a condom (when he spoke against condom use shortly after the realization that safe sex could prevent the spread of AIDS,) and the Center For Disease Control for not acting fast enough.
The power of one sentence —Silence = Death— paired with a simple graphic (see last image at end of post) fired up millions of people.


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