Play Smart III


Play Smart 2012 features commissioned photographs by Amos Mac, Iván Monforte, Richard Renaldi and Christopher Schulz and designed by John Chaich. The trading cards come in both English and Spanish, and feature information to help you play smart. This is the third edition of the PLAY SMART series aims to also create positive images of different bodies.

Produced by Visual AIDS for free distribution, Play Smart trading cards are an honest and straight-forward approach to promote harm reduction, HIV testing and post-exposure prophylaxis. Play Smart is packaged with two trading cards, a sticker, condoms and lube. The back of each trading card features information to help you play smart.

TO ORDER a single set of PLAY SMART trading card, use the shop button to the right.

For bulk orders (to be distributed for free at your organization or event)contact [email protected] Bulk orders of 100-200 packets are available for the cost of shipping and handling - while supplies last.

Artists' Statements and Bios

Amos Mac
"It was an honor to be asked to shoot these photos for the PLAY SMART trading card project. As a transgender artist, I am aware of both how HIV/AIDS affects my community and my friends, and of the continued need to raise awareness around these issues. I believe that art is a vector for understanding, which is why I so admire and respect the work of Visual AIDS. It is my hope that these images will help spark some crucial discussions about sex, gender, safety and fun."

Amos Mac is an artist, writer and publisher who photographs the dynamic, the gender non-conforming, the under-represented and beyond though voyeuristic, high-end snap-shot styled portraits. He has shown his photographs in galleries and at events internationally, toured nationally with Sister Spit: The Next Generation and both his written and photographic work have been published in collaboration with the Huffington Post, Italian Vogue, CANDY, BUTT, OUT, and countless others. In 2009 he launched Original Plumbing, the premier quarterly magazine that documents the culture of transgender men. Tumblr: / Twitter: @amosmacphotos.

Iván Monforte
"I think of this project as a valentine for both Visual AIDS and my Mexican people. Like most artists in this country I have to support myself financially irrespective of the art market, and in some ways, these cards marry my artistic and my working worlds. For the last 8 years I have worked in HIV prevention education, testing, and social marketing -- with a special focus on disenfranchised communities, such as homeless adolescents, immigrants, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. This recent iteration of the PLAY SMART trading cards provided me an opportunity to create a message for the large, mostly invisible population of Mexican immigrants in NYC. La lucha sigue (the struggle continues) for them, and for all of us, when it comes to fighting for equality, and ending HIV/AIDS in all communities."

New York-based Iván Monforte was born in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. He received a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996, and an M.F.A. from New York University in 2004. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2004. He has shown at Bronx Museum of the Arts, Longwood Art Gallery, Queens Museum of Art, El Museo del Barrio, Artists Space as part of PERFORMA05, Elizabeth Foundation Gallery, Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, La MaMa Galleria, and Socrates Sculpture Park. He is the recipient of a UCLA Art Council Award, a Lambent Fellowship in the Arts from the Tides Foundation, and an Art Matters grant for research in Samoa. He has participated in residencies at Sidestreet Projects, Lower East Side Print Shop, Center for Book Arts, and Smack Mellon.

Richard Renaldi
"The PLAY SMART trading cards are, in a word, smart. Visual AIDS continues to do the important work of educating those most at risk and does so both creatively and playfully. I myself am an archive member and am proud to have been commissioned to be a part of this vital campaign. I chose to outfit all my models in leather gear and wish to thank The Leather Man for their generosity in outfitting my models. It was fun to put these boys in such a sexy material and photograph them."

Richard Renaldi was born in Chicago in 1968. He received his BFA in photography from New York University in 1990. Exhibitions of his photographs have been mounted in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. In 2006 Renaldi's first monograph, Figure and Ground, was published by the Aperture Foundation. His second monograph, Fall River Boys, was released in 2009. Richard Renaldi is the founder and publisher of Charles Lane Press.

Christopher Schulz
"I've admired Visual AIDS for quite some time and was thrilled to be invited to contribute to the brilliant PLAY SMART project. It is an honor to be able to help spread such an important message of HIV prevention and AIDS awareness alongside such talented artists. Thanks to Graham, James, Rigo, and Doug for being so great in front of the camera."

Christopher Schulz is a print designer and independent publisher known for his pictorial publication, Pinups, as well as various graphic works including digital collages (Mopping is Stealing) and most recently a book of fan-fiction drawings titled Seth. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and is in the LGBT collection at the New York Public Library. Christopher is a graduate of The School of The Art Institute of Chicago.

This project is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).