“Piss Christ”, Andres Serrano
Evoking a powerful reaction strong enough to be denounced by some lawmakers, Serrano’s work definitely has the subject matter/situation that was likely intended to shock and even offend some people. It created such a controversy that the National Endowement for the Arts funding was cut by over 45%, an event that it still has not recovered from. The work itself is a plastic crucifix put into a jar of the artists own urine and then photographed in dramatic lighting. While denounced by many as a slap in the face to traditional religion, Serrano has stated that he meant only to show that religious symbols and icons have been cheapened by modern society and commercialism. His sentiments were not shared by all, apparently, as the archbishop of Melbourne even tried to get it banned from being shown in Victoria, Australia. Even just recently, the image was slashed and burned by French protesters in Avignon who were running a campaign of “Anti Blasphemy”. I can understand both stances, and see that the piece really does have importance in the Art world as well as modern society, as it causes people to think and to question, one of the most important reasons Art exists today. It also serves as a testament for artists to know where the boundaries of propriety lay today, and the possible effects of crossing them.
Protest against the image:
Incident surrounding the work:
The work being displayed in New York:
Info on the artist: