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David Lance Goines (born 1945)
Student Health Service, University of California (Berkeley)
AIDS Prevention, 1985
photo–offset lithograph
61 x 43.2 cm (24 x 17 in.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of the artist

Goines explains, "My job is to get your attention and keep it long enough for the message to get across." This poster accomplishes that purpose. It is also a brilliant example of how a large institution deeply concerned for its public image can address a sexual topic in a form suitable for wide public display. Goines's Garden of Eden clearly warns of the danger of AIDS without risking offense.


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Biography of David Lance Goines

Born in Grants Pass, Oregon, David Goines studied at the University of California at Berkeley. Before earning his degree in 1965, he worked as a printer's apprentice. Three years later he founded the Saint Hieronymous Press in Berkeley and has worked there ever since. Goines has created well over one hundred poster designs for commercial clients, as well as for political causes and organizations concerned with AIDS prevention. A political activist, he has championed many of the issues addressed in his posters. Known for his artisan's approach to design, Goines is involved in all phases of production, from making ink colors to final printing. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions and is represented in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Achenbach Collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. He is also the author and publisher of a variety of books.

Goines shares with postermakers of the 1890s an interest in lettering, broad, flat color planes, and, at times, the whiplash curves of Art Nouveau. His designs often feature an intricate web of patterns and color that seems reminiscent of the French painters Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard. The early-twentieth-century German graphic artist Ludwig Hohlwein has also been an important inspiration. Nonetheless, Goines's rich illustrative style is unique and instantly recognizable, synthesizing elements of earlier designs and his own solutions to graphic challenges.

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