CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News UpdateCALIFORNIA: Famed LA Graffiti Crew Creates AIDS Awareness Billboard
November 20, 2013
San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (11.19.2013)
Aids Weekly Plus
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News recently reported that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) unveiled the second installment of its Artists Gallery billboard series, for which the foundation commissioned famous and emerging artists to create a piece of art that raised awareness of HIV and AIDS and other sexual health issues. AHF planned to enlarge each piece of art to billboard size and post the art at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Highland Avenue in Hollywood, Calif.
Galo “Make One” Canote and Sergio “Doc43” Rueda, founders of the Second To None (STN) graffiti crew, created the second piece of art for the billboard, which AHF will display in time for World AIDS Day on December 1. Canote designed the typography for the billboard’s message—“AIDS is NOT over”—and Rueda painted a portrait of an HIV-infected Ethiopian woman from a picture of an actual AHF client.
Canote and Rueda both reported having close friends or family with HIV. Rueda emphasized that HIV and AIDS had no boundaries or cure, and he advocated education that could prevent discrimination against HIV-infected people. Canote also stressed education and “self-care” to prevent the virus’s spread. Both artists hoped the billboard would draw attention to the fact that HIV and AIDS have affected millions of people worldwide throughout the last 30 years. The artists’ fame paralleled the emergence of the hip-hop culture in Los Angeles; after the two partnered for STN, their street art became an instantly recognizable part of the Los Angeles landscape.