Andres Serrano, Pieta - Holy Works, 2014.
Holy Works is the culmination of Andres Serrano's reinterpretation of Christian iconography. Serrano's intention with his works is not to recreate specific medieval or renaissance religious paintings, nor to invest them with the iconoclasm that made his name in the 1980s, but rather to renew the genre of sacred portraiture: "Rather than destroy sacred icons," says the artist, "I reinvent and reinforce them." Serrano's subjects for this series are selected from among his friends and acquaintances, emphasizing (like Caravaggio before him) the ordinariness of human features. The genres and themes are familiar, and Holy Works includes a "Last Supper" and a "Stations of the Cross" (rendered as a triptych panel), as well as bolder portrayals typical of Serrano-a "Blood Madonna" and a "Chinoise Madonna," for example. This volume is Serrano's major statement of his religious and artistic belief.
Medium: Print and book, 112 pages, English
Size: 9,21 x 11,73 in.
Edition of 50
Signed and numbered
This lovely Andres Serrano Collector's Edition is available at Damiani Editore
About Andres Serrano
Serrano studied art, notably photography, at the Brooklyn Museum in 1967–69 and later acknowledged that in the 1970s he was a drug dealer and addict in New York City. He returned to photography in the early 1980s, presenting large-scale colour images concentrating on dramatic and provocative figural compositions. The intensity of these images evoked for the artist the images of Christ’s Passion that he had observed growing up in a Hispanic, Roman Catholic home. An interest in bodily fluids—blood, urine, milk, semen—sometimes in isolation (Milk, Blood, 1986), sometimes combined with cruciform shapes or reproductions of statuary (Blood Cross, 1985), led the artist to create his infamous Piss Christ. This image was exhibited at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 1988, as part of that institution’s Awards in the Visual Arts series, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Many viewers found the image profane and irreverent and further objected to the support of the NEA, which itself was funded by taxpayers. The public debate engendered by this and other provocative artworks caused Congress to restrict grants to individual visual artists and to cut the NEA’s funding by two-fifths.
In later series studies, Serrano employed traditional portraiture strategies to photograph members of the Ku Klux Klan (Klansmen, 1990) and homeless New Yorkers (Nomads, 1990). His Morgue series (1992), which is believed to have been photographed in Paris, studied the heads and bodies of corpses. His other series examine such subjects as Middle America, Catholic lay workers, guns, human sexuality and sacred portraiture.
About Damiani Editore
Damiani was founded in May 2004 as the new publishing branch of the printing company, Grafiche Damiani, in Bologna, Italy. Damiani was set up in the 1950s to specialize in art and photography lithographic printing. Today, Damiani continues this long-held tradition, aiming at producing volumes characterized by high handmade quality and innovative technology. What distinguishes Damiani is the attention devoted to exploring and understanding the forms of the contemporary imagination.
Besides the projects concerning the unpublished activity by leading figures from the art and photography world, Damiani also constitutes an observatory of the new generations of international artists and of social phenomena, which meet with the solid architecture of accurately edited books, creating real art objects.
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