Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Serrano's Piss Christ hits the headlines again!

If making art these days is as much about getting attention than anything else then nobody does it better than Andres Serrano.
Andres Serrano (born August 15, 1950 in New York City) is an American photographer and artist who has become notorious through his photos of corpses and his use of feces and bodily fluids in his work, notably his controversial work Piss Christ, (1987), a red-tinged photograph of a crucifix submerged in a glass container of what was purported to be the artist's own urine.

The Piss Christ work was vandalised in Australia, and neo-Nazis ransacked a Serrano show in Sweden in 2007. And last Sunday, Piss Christ and The Church, were attacked at the museum housing the works, Collection Lambert in Avignon, France. After two weeks of protests and a campaign of hate mail and abusive phone calls to the gallery, orchestrated by groups of French Catholic fundamentalists, a thousand people marched through the streets of Avignon to protest outside the museum on April 16. On Sunday several people entered the museum, threatened the guards and proceeded to vandalize the works in question.

But it's not only Christian fundamentalists from the religious right who have questioned Serrano's work. Following his retrospective at the Barbican in 2001, The Guardian's art critic Adrian Searle wrote, "He is the artist who outraged America with Piss Christ. But has Andres Serrano run out of ideas? .....In the end, the show is all surface, and looking for hidden depths does no good. I keep thinking Serrano can do better than this, but then again, maybe he can't."

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