Known for his controversial subject matter, American photographer Andres Serrano (b.1951) often utilizes vulgar materials like bodily fluids to create willfully provocative works. The artist creates tension, engaging his spectators with a fascination for his often taboo subjects. Many of Serrano's best-known photographs involve bodily fluids — depicting, for example, milk, blood and semen. The most famous of these is "Piss Christ" (1987), a photograph of a plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of his own urine. Other bodies of work include images of the Ku Klux Klan (1990), the History of Sex (1996), a series of portraits of individuals in America (2002) and images of tropical plants in Cycads (2006). Serrano's Catholic background informs much of his work, as he focuses on the body and the spiritual condition, exploring the themes of life and death, sin and grace, the mortification and pleasures of the flesh. Born in Brooklyn, NY to a Honduran father and Haitian mother, Serrano studied art at the Brooklyn Museum Art School. His early works were influenced by the pre-war European art movements like Dada and Surrealism. Serrano's works can be seen in such public collections as the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY; MOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA; Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia; Huis Marseille stichting voor fotografie, Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía MNCARS, Madrid, Spain.
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