The controversial “Piss Christ” artwork Sen. Alfonse D’Amato once branded as a “deplorable, despicable display of vulgarity,” is coming to New York, and security is being heavily ramped- up at the gallery that will show the piece.
Andres Serrano’s work — a “photograph of the crucifix submerged in the artist’s urine” — first ignited controversy in 1989 when D’Amato complained to the US Senate that it was an “outrage,” an “indignity” and a “piece of trash” that had been funded by taxpayers. Serrano had won a $15,000 prize for his work, backed in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
But the piece — which will be on display as part of a retrospective of the New York artist’s work at Edward Tyler Nahem gallery beginning Thursday — is still causing controversy over two decades later.
On Palm Sunday last year, 1,000 protesters marched outside a French gallery showing “Piss Christ,” and the piece was attacked by hammer-toting vandals while gallery workers received death threats. The piece — there are 10 prints — has also been vandalized at the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia and in Sweden.
But Serrano told us he’s not expecting trouble in his hometown of New York. “It’s not going to receive the same attention,” he said, adding that the French attack “destroyed” the piece, but, “It transformed ‘Piss Christ’ into something else. It’s mounted on plexiglass, and it looked like they’d attacked Christ. The marks were all around the face.”
A rep for the Midtown gallery confirmed it was beefing up security in anticipation of protests, but wouldn’t elaborate further.
Serrano is working on a book of 400 photographs recently shot in Cuba, where his mother was born. “It’s about time we talked about Cuba,” he said, calling the US embargo “horrendous.”
The transformed “Piss Christ” the artist is now boasting about.
The Obama administration has spent at least $70,000 to produce and run TV ads in Pakistan denouncing Mohammed movie … which appear to be getting the expected bang for the taxpayer bucks. I don’t look for them to do the same in regards to this. In general, outside the attack in France, Christians/Catholics do not riot because we believe in personal responsibility for your own soul, and expect the comeuppance for the workers of such trash comes after this life. And I am certain that fair and balanced U.N.H.R.C. will be as severe in their condemnation of this blasphemy against Christianity to be displayed in their general area.
Meanwhile a Danish Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is urging the West to stick by our free speech guns.