Meet the artists who create clothes using gay blood | Popgen Tech


Zane Curtis is a self-described “painter and textile artist with a limp wrist.”

Hailing from Chicago’s underground club scene, Curtis has made a career out of being a brand of provocateur.

His art is provocative and camp at the same time: acrylic paintings of perverted sex acts, a rug with straps. Weird sexuality is Curtis’s muse.

Now Curtis’ work has entered new territory.

The artist took to Instagram this week to announce his new release: the “GAY BLOOD” collection.

In collaboration with fellow artist Stuart Semple, who released a collection back in 2018, Curtis released T-shirts printed with blood ink.

Semple originally released the shirt in celebration of Pride Month and World Blood Donor Day as a critique of the “blood ban.”

The ban refers to a homophobic policy supported by the US FDA that prohibits queer men from donating blood if they have had sex with another man within the past year.

This policy has been pursued internationally in various forms since the 1980s, amid the outbreak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Curtis adds a “cheeky” spin

Curtis’s collaboration with Semple gives Semple’s original product a swagger.

Sample’s original piece quite literally said, “THIS SHIRT IS DRAINED IN GAY BLOOD.”

However, Curtis incorporates his signature tongue-in-cheek playful sexuality that has become synonymous with his work.

Curtis’ work features a print of a man doing handstands in a latex mask and the tagline: “How to meet horny married dads in your neighborhood for God’s sake.”

“Printed with gay blood ink,” Curtis captioned the Instagram post.

“In 1983, the FDA introduced guidance that effectively prohibited men who have sex with men from donating blood.

“Some form of this ban remains in place to this day, making the US one of the only countries that continues to ban gay blood donations.”

Is gay blood still banned in Australia?

Curtis ends his post by stating that “a form of this ban remains in place to this day, making the US one of the only countries that continues to ban gay blood donations.”

Despite progress and advances in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, Australia is still among the countries that support the ban.

The current policy still provides for a period of abstinence for gay, bisexual, transgender and gender non-conforming Australians who have sex with men.

Although Australia was the first to lift the lifetime ban, experts say we are now lagging behind.

Check out more of Curtis’ provocative work here.

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