Andres Serrano: ““I don’t think my work is shocking”


I think it is.

When you look at the artworks of Andres Serrano, large scale photographs, you will find mainly items like sex, religion, torture, illness and death.

Under the works you will find also his very famous “Piss Christ” (1989).

I think you will be shocked if you hear that this photo was lying in the urine of the painter. You will also be shocked by the title. And probably you will be shocked seeing further Jesus in the three parts – face, penis and feet -. But: Serrano, saying about himself to be a Christ, doesn’t want to be blasphemous. The name piss Christ was meant descriptive as it was made with urine. Finally the many works with religion as motive stress the more human side of Christ and Christ was also a human being. The cross is often depicted as symbol for torture and death. That’s why his art is probably shocking, but also human.

Look for example at his series of photographs of homeless people in Brussels, the denizens as he calls them. Before he made a similar series in New York. His central issue is humanity.

You should come and discover the work of American photographer Andres Serrano at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Brussels. This is one of the biggest retrospectives ever to be dedicated to his work.

What I liked most was his “Rainmaker” and  “The other Christ” (2001) which became the exhibition’s motive: Jesus as a black man. Why not? It could have been; but anyway: Jesus would never have made any difference with regard of the colour of a person. For me it is a photo against prejudice and for respect towards everybody. Also wonderful: “The black supper”.

Four works that were considered scandalous and were vandalized during past events will also be on display to question the limits of censorship. “To show Serrano means to assert our basic values. Against barbarism and intolerance. Against obscurantism and inhumanity.” The museum is commenting.

The painter was born 1950 in New York; his father came from Honduras, hith mother from Cuba. He studied at the Brooklyn Museum Art School. His first exhibition was in 1985 in New York.

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Rue de la Régence / Regentschapsstraat 3
1000 Brussels

18.03. – 21.08.2016

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