KNOW YOUR SCUMBAGS. Richard Deagle and Victor Mendolia, Subway Advertising Poster, Off-set Lithograph, 1989. [This copy was used in the cause, found among the belongings of a deceased friend and fellow activist]. "It was when ACT UP invaded Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Archbishop John Cardinal O'Connor is wearing a hat [mitre] that looks an awful lot like an unrolled condom. The ad says: “KNOW YOUR SCUMBAGS. THIS ONE PREVENTS AIDS”. Cardinal O'Connor was blocking the distribution of safe sex information and condoms in New York City public high schools and we invaded his church because he needed to get out of the education system and stop killing people by denying them access to safe sex education and condoms." - @ericsawyernyc
, co-founder of ACT UP.
This is the poster that inspired Keith Haring to become an AIDS Activist and join ACT UP. It is similar in layout and design to the early Post cut-up Xerox pieces used in his first public guerrilla wheatpasting campaign. Processing a person’s personal belongings after they die is always a learning experience. It was something we often did during the early years of the plague. What to keep, what to get rid of? After their biological families came and pillaged what they deemed valuable, we were left to dispose of the remaining detritus of their sons’ lives. It was a ghostly exercise, often fraught with unearthing diaries, medical records, medications, sex toys, professional papers, porn collections (that explained a lot), activist material, and artwork. This poster was harvested from one such friend’s apartment after his death from AIDS related illness. #actup #richarddeagle #hypocrites #cardinaloconnor #catholicchurch #stpatrickscathedral #stopthechurch #childmolesters #americanpickers #pickers