Andres Serrano (American, b.1950) is a New York-born Conceptual artist known for his provocative and often controversial works. After studying at the Brooklyn Museum Art School from 1967 to 1969, Serrano became known for his photographs, which combined beauty and vulgarity. Primarily working in large-format and using no digital manipulation, Serrano lets the subject matter of his photos speak—and shock—for itself. Perhaps best known for his work Piss Christ, a photograph of a crucifix in what is purported to be the artist’s own urine, Serrano has drawn negative reactions from the religious leaders, conservative activists, and—most famously—senators protesting his receipt of National Endowment of the Arts funding. However, many have defended Serrano’s right to the freedom of expression, and he has continued to create works exploring challenging themes, such as violence, race, and poverty.

Other well-known works include his early 1990s series Objects of Desire, depicting firearms, The Morgue, depicting victims of violent crimes, and America, exploring the wide spectrum of what it “means to be an American.” Serrano’s work is included in museums around the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and has been used on album covers for heavy metal bands, such as Metallica. Serrano has also explored the realm of music, recording an album and creating a series of videos under the alter-ego Brutus Faust. Solo exhibitions of Serrano’s work have occurred around the world, and he is represented in New York and Paris by Yvon Lambert Gallery.

Timeline

1950
Born in New York, USA
1967–1969
Studied at Brooklyn Museum Art School, Brooklyn, USA
1985
Participated in National Studio Program at P.S.1, Long Island City, USA
1986
Recipient, National Endowment for the Arts
1987
New York Foundation for the Arts. Art Matters, Inc.
1989
Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Cintas Foundation
1990
New York State Council on the Arts, Sponsored Project
1998
Recipient, Awards in the Visual Arts, Art Matters, Inc.
2000
Recipient, Gold Medal, Art Directors Club 79th Annual Awards
2000
Recipient, Silver Medal, Art Directors Club 79th Annual Awards
2000
Recipient, Merit Award, The Society of Publication Designers
2001
Participated in 35th Publication Design Competition
Lives and works in New York, USA

Exhibitions

2010
25 Years / 25 Works, Wessel + O’Connor Fine Arts, Lambertville, USA
2008
Art[e]merica Latina, The Citadel, Saint-Tropez, France
Street & Studio: An Urban History of Photography, Tate Modern, London, England
Traces du Sacré, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, traveled to Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany
BABY: Picturing the Ideal Human, Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
On the Human Being. International Photography1950-2000’s, Contemporary Art Muesum, Seville, Spain
Shit, Yvon Lambert, New York, USA (solo)
2007
Portraits d’une Troupe, Collection Lambert en Avignon, Avignon, France (solo)
Mask, James Cohan Gallery in collaboration with Joseph G. Gerena Fine Art, New York, USA
All for Art! Our Great Private Collectors Share Their Works, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada
Death Becomes Her, Yvon Lambert Temporary Space, Miami, USA
Fotográfica, Fotomuseo, Bogotá, Colombia
Dedica – 1986-2006 Twenty Years from Galleria Alfonso Artiaco, Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Naples, Italy
J’embrasse Pas, Collection Lambert, Avignon, France (solo)
Passage du Temps, Collection François Pinault Foundation, Lille, France (solo)
A History of Sex, Kulturen, Lund, Sweden (solo)
Moving onto ALINGSÅS Kulturhus, Alingsås, Sweden (solo)
Cuerpo Sagrado: Andres Serrano, Fotologia 5, Museo Iglesia Santa Clara, Bogotá, Colombia (solo)
Portraits d’une Troupe, Collection Lambert en Avignon, Avignon, France (solo)
Russia, Galleri Charlotte Lund, Stockholm, Sweden (solo)
2006
Andres Serrano: La Part Maudite, Collection Lambert, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Avignon, France (solo)
Andres Serrano, PAC, Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy (solo)
Baroque, Gimpel Fils, London, England; Walter Otero Gallery, San Juan, Puerto Rico (solo)
Minding Traditions, The Museum of Biblical Art, New York, USA
Dark Places, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, USA
Beautiful Suffering: Photography and the Traffic in Pain, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, USA
Andres Serrano: El dedo en la llaga, ARTIUM Contemporary Art Museum, Vitoria, Spain; traveled to Tecla Sala, Barcelona, Spain; PhotoEspaña Festival, Madrid, Spain
Andres Serrano, Walter Otero Gallery, San Juan, Puerto Rico
2005
Andres Serrano: Lectures in Photography, Ferguson Theater, Columbia College, Chicago, USA
Russia-America, Moscow House of Photography, Moscow, Russia
Andres Serrano: Enthüllungen/ Revelations, C/O Berlin, Berlin, Germany
20th Anniversary of Wessel + O’Connor Fine Art, Wessel + O’Connor Fine Art, Brooklyn, USA
The Divine Body, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, USA
Twenty Five Years, Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, USA
25 Years Baumgartner Gallery, Part 2, Baumgartner Gallery, New York, USA
Collection Lambert en Avignon, Musée d’art contemporain, Avignon, France
Corpus Christi, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York, USA
Jesus Christ Superstar: 140 Years of Jesus Christ in photography, Bruce Silverstein Photography, New York, USA
Des Américains, Yvon Lambert, Paris, France
A History of Sex, The Erotic Museum, Los Angeles, USA
The Americans, Galleria Ugo Ferranti, Rome, Italy
Man & Woman: Love’s Wonderous Ways, Museum of New Art in Parnu, Estonia
2003
America, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, USA
Works 1985-2002, André Simoens Gallery, Knokke-Zoute, Belgium
Ekthesi Photographias, Kalfayan Gallery, Thessaloniki, Greece
A History of Sex, 5th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival-Images of the 21st Century, Greece
America, Chac Mool Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2002
Body and Soul, Traveling Exhibition, MEO, Budapest, Hungary
Andres Serrano, Reali Arte Contemporarea, Brescia, Italy
Andres Serrano’s Via Crucis, Ex Church S. Marta/Rome, Italy
America, Gimpel Fils, London, England
2001
Best of the Season, The Aldrich Museum of Contempoorary Art, Ridgefield, USA
Objects of Desire, André Simoens Gallery, Knokke-Zoute, Belgium
The Interpretation of Dreams, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, USA
World Without End, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, USA
The Interpretation of Dreams, Photology, Milan, Italy
The Interpretation of Dreams, Galleri Charlotte Lund, Stockholm, Sweden
Andres Serrano, The Barbican (The Curve), London, England
Andres Serrano: La Interpretación de los Sueños, Juana de Aizpuru Gallery, Madrid, Spain
Because Sex Sells: Part II, Nikolai Fine Art, New York, USA
Give & Take, Serpentine Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
Fulll Frontal, Phtographic Portraits, Jan Weiner Gallery, Kansas City, USA
2000
Faith: The Impact of Judeo-Christian Religion on Art at the Millenium, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, USA
Picturing the Modern Amazon, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, USA
Body and Soul, Travelling Exhibition - Bergen Art Society, Bergen, Norway; Rogaland Kunst Museum, Stavanger, Norway; TromsØ Art Society, TromsØ, Norway; Ludwig Foundation, Aachen, Germany; Barbican Art Center, London, England; Stenersenmusett, Oslo, Norway
Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland
Ciurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas, Lithuania
1999
Immersions & Fluid Abstractions, André Simoens Gallery, Knokke-Zoute, Belgium
Pure Essence and Presumed Innocence, Marella Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy
1997
In Visible Light: Photography and Classification in Art, Science and the Everyday, Travelling Exhibition: The Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, England; Harris Mueum and Art Gallery, Preston, England; Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland
1996
Radical Images, 2nd Austrian Triennial on Photography, Neue Galerie, New York, USA
1995
Art as Witness, 1st Kwangju International Biennale, Seoul, Korea