|The world of the arts has been devastated by AIDS. Few performing or visual artists have escaped the epidemic's impingement upon either their own lives or those of close friends and mentors. But beyond this obvious impact, AIDS has had - and is having - an ultimately more far-reaching effect: it has changed the very form and content of contemporary art. As artists struggle to understand, interpret, and express the complex emotions and politics arising from the epidemic, a new art, perhaps even a new aesthetic, is now emerging. Over the past ten years, AIDS has become an increasingly prevalent theme in drama, dance, music, film, television, painting, photography, and theater. Many artists have encapsulated their rage, grief, and resistance - and even, occasionally, a kind of transformational acceptance of fate - by channeling that experience into their art. Together, they have produced a remarkably rich body of work. The panoply of the art of AIDS is as rich as the range of the artists who are responding to the epidemic. In The Art of AIDS, Rob Baker examines this new aesthetic, revealing not just the expected themes of death and dying, disease and disability, but also the issues of spirituality and healing, political and social action, sexuality and responsibility, isolation and community, racism and heterosexism. AIDS increasingly affects everyone, but the response of the gay community, which was devastated first and which rallied so valiantly, is central to this study. Perhaps it is only through the risks taken by AIDS-affected artists that stigma can be turned into conscience, denial into consciousness, and grief into renewal.