David Kirby dying of AIDS  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

David Kirby dying of AIDS[1] is the informal title of a photo of David Kirby on his deathbed, dying from AIDS. The photo was taken by Therese Frare.

It is one of the shock ads by Benetton Group.

Following the Life publication, the Kirby family allowed the clothing company United Colors of Benetton to use the image in a 1992 advertising campaign, feeling that its story would reach a worldwide audience.

Fallout from the campaign came from many sources, including the Catholic Church which felt that the image was an inappropriate allusion to the historical imagery of the Virgin Mary cradling Jesus Christ after the crucifixion.

In 2012, Frare told Life that David's father Bill Kirby expressed the family's feelings on the use of the picture by United Colors of Benetton when he told her "Listen, Therese. Benetton didn’t use us, or exploit us. We used them. Because of them, your photo was seen all over the world, and that’s exactly what David wanted."

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