AIDS 101 - An Intensive, 1997, Max Greenberg silver gelatin print, 8x10

Castro says, "Originally and cruelly called, "GAY CANCER" (GRID), the plague swept like wildfire, engulfing everyone in its path and leaving behind devastation and wailing loved ones. AIDS changed everything. I lost so many friends and lovers in a very short time span. I remember being in my early 20s, but going to more funerals than my 60-something parents. One day I expressed to my mother that I didn't know how to deal with all my friends dying. She didn't know how to respond. What was there to say? What could anyone say? It was so overwhelming. Those years seemed hopeless with nothing to look forward to. Eulogy after eulogy. For a while sex did equal death. I was forced into becoming a "goth."

Eventually my generation refused to accept the situation. We fought back. We stood up for ourselves and turned our grief into activism. Perhaps we were the second wave of the gay rights movement, with Stonewall and the Black Cat, (Silver Lake, CA, 1967 -- two years before Stonewall) being the first.

This photographic selection illustrates these feelings. From the carefree days of Studio 54, The Anvil, The NYC Bondage Club, S&M, lust and underground sex encounters, to the impact of illness, sadness, fear, death, melancholy, acceptance, some enlightenment..." Read more.

Each month, Visual AIDS invites guest curators, drawn from both the arts and AIDS communities, to select several works from the Frank Moore Archive Project and Visual AIDS Artists Registry.

View past Web Gallery here.

Max Greenberg

Peter Madero III

Ali

John Morrison

Bruce Cratsley

John Dugdale

Donna Haggerty

Bern Boyle