"Butt Pirates of the World Unite and Take Over" Schwartz 2013
My drawings are heavily influenced by the books I’m reading at the time and I’ve been alternating between history books on the Holocaust and the Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin. The Tales books are frivolous, addictive and silly at time but also deal with the reality of AIDS in the 80’s. This drawing brings together the genocide of minorities by AIDS and before that, the Holocaust in Europe. Both affected the whole world and both, in the beginning, were considered ‘not our problem’ by the rest of the world. AIDS was considered a gay disease, so it was ignored by the right wing politicians who controlled America. Throughout the 80’s, AIDS activists fought for medication and compassion from the rest of the world but instead gay people were further demonized.
I grew up and became sexually active in the era where HIV would kill you within a few years. Even though I was ‘straight’ at the time, I was still deathly paranoid of being infected but also bought into the idea that gay men could infect me just by being alone with them. I had almost no AIDS education and no facts. I was overcome with fears and propaganda spread by the religious right despite the fact that I grew up in large cities.
The showers and the trains in my drawings represent the means in which the minorities were killed by the Nazi’s. The characters all possess a shower head to give themselves the illusion that they are in control of their own fate and imminent death.