The photograph by US artist Andres Serrano is called Piss Christ and has been the subject of repeated controversy since it was first shown in The photograph will be displayed as part of the Torture exhibition at the Void Gallery which will also feature images depicting the Hooded Men who were tortured and interned during the Northern Ireland Troubles. The new images for the exhibit were created by Serrano using more than 40 models who were subjected to a variety of interrogation techniques.
B efore sharks swam in formaldehyde, there was Piss Christ. With this work inAndres Serrano created what is surely the visual manifesto and original prototype of the use of shock in contemporary art. Other s artists, including Robert Mapplethorpe and Richard Serra, ran into controversy, but Piss Christ is distinguished by its calculated offence and rhetorical nature — the way it sets out to be unmissably outrageous and adopts that offence as part of its meaning.
News that Trump has proposed defunding the National Endowment of the Arts, a grants system created in for promoting arts and the humanities, struck fear in the hearts of artists, art lovers and the organizations who support them. But it also provoked conservatives to trot out a very dusty argument about what exactly the NEA is good for, anyway. The argument goes something like this: The NEA needs to go because it funds garbage atheist liberal art.
Freedom of religion and freedom of expression have something in common: they both have the power to polarize people. Andres Serrano said he did not intend his photograph of a crucifix submerged in his own urine to offend; indeed, when it was first displayed in galleries, no one protested. But inafter Piss Christ was exhibited in Virginia, it attracted the attention of an outspoken pastor and, soon after, of Congress. The battle over Piss Christ has left a dual legacy.
Religion has always been a central theme in the history of art. However, when contemporary artists tackle the subject, they always know how to add a touch of provocation to spark controversy. Yet very often, the issue lies in the context.
Image courtesy of Jorge Brantmayer. For many artists, depicting Christ is not only an artistic challenge, but also a theological and political one, producing provocative results that question religion's validity and the politics ascribed to it. Although controversial, these artists remind us that religious beliefes and opinions are idiosyncratic concepts, and in our Western world it is freely up to the individual to decide both what they would like to depict, and what they'll debate.
Inthe 60x40in red and yellow photograph of a crucifix plunged into a vat of Serrano's urine ignited a congressional debate on US public arts funding; in France last year, it was physically attacked. In midtown Manhattan on Thursday night, a small group of Catholics opposed to the work gathered outside the Edward Tyler Nahem gallery, where the exhibition opened. Some Christians find the work deeply offensive.
There's nothing more entertaining than when a controversial cultural relic resurfaces to incite anger all over again. Such is the case this week albeit on a much milder scale with "Piss Christ," Andres Serrano's infamous artwork from the s, set to hit the Sotheby's auction block Thursday. You may or may not remember the powerful piece of contemporary artwork that riled devout Catholics and grumpy fiscal conservatives nearly three decades ago.
The below artworks are the most important by Andres Serrano - that both overview the major creative periods, and highlight the greatest achievements by the artist. The first, a nude woman bound at the wrists with rope, throws her head back as blood streams down her neck and torso, whilst the second, dressed in the robes of a Catholic cardinal, turns away dismissively. Serrano explained this image as "referring to the relationship the Church has with women", questioning whether "they are aware of women as human beings or just take them for granted and dismiss them.