lives and works
New York, USA
Brooklyn Museum of Art School, Brooklyn, USA, 1967–69
about the artist
One of the key agitators working in contemporary photography today, Andres Serrano creates an alternate reality through unearthing the beauty that lies within the startling, the lurid, and the taboo. He juxtaposes bodily fluids or matter—the profane—with religious iconography or objects—the sacred—in his works, for example, the infamous "Piss Christ". He also produces portraits of the extremely famous or decidedly unspoken members of society; e.g., members of the KKK or bodies in morgues. Exhibiting theatricality out of contrived settings or simply capturing existing truths, his imagery is direct and honest, and allows no residue of complacency or neutrality. Controversy has surrounded Serrano for the better part of his career, generating a copious amount of press and publicity within as well as outside the art world. Serrano and his art have been discussed in academic journals and papers as much as they’ve been included in major group exhibitions—reproduced in books about, to name a few, transgressive art, creative spirituality, symbolic imprints, or a cultural history of photography, or appearing in shows curated around themes as diverse as eroticism, AIDS, civil rights, icons of domination, and transcendence and love. Serrano has held solo exhibitions all over the world: major traveling shows include Andres Serrano: Works 1983–1993, which shuttled within the United States in 1996, and Body and Soul, which traveled among Northern and Central European cities in 2000.