The Plague Drawings emerged in the early 1990s as a response to the rapid spread of AIDS and the failure of international educational efforts to significantly diminish either the misconceptions about the disease or its pervasive threat.
“The challenge for me as an artist,” Clint explains, “was to create, with the simplest of means– charcoal and paper–a visual allegory expressing both the seductive power of desire and the devastating consequences of this disease.”
A recurring theme throughout this work is the image of death’s embrace, which has many prototypes in the history of art. AIDS infuses this traditional imagery with a new and poignant relevance. These drawings are both sensuous and disturbing, appealing and frightening.