There's nothing more entertaining than when a controversial cultural relic resurfaces to incite anger all over again. Such is the case this week albeit on a much milder scale with "Piss Christ," Andres Serrano's infamous artwork from the s, set to hit the Sotheby's auction block Thursday. You may or may not remember the powerful piece of contemporary artwork that riled devout Catholics and grumpy fiscal conservatives nearly three decades ago.
Its mission was to "foster the excellence, diversity, and vitality of the arts in the United States. Ronald Reagan attempts to abolish the National Endowment for the Arts, but lacking sufficient support in Congress, was unable to abolish or defund the agency. Donald Wildmon, representing the ultra-conservative American Family Foundation of Tupelo, Mississippi, holds a press conference complaining to the members of the National Council on the Arts.
It changed my life. I was told to go straight to an all-staff meeting already in progress, and that I would meet my supervisor later. I quietly took a seat in the back of the auditorium, which was alive with tension and anger.
Inthe 60x40in red and yellow photograph of a crucifix plunged into a vat of Serrano's urine ignited a congressional debate on US public arts funding; in France last year, it was physically attacked. In midtown Manhattan on Thursday night, a small group of Catholics opposed to the work gathered outside the Edward Tyler Nahem gallery, where the exhibition opened. Some Christians find the work deeply offensive.
Photograph that has attracted controversy for more than two decades attracts protests outside New York exhibition. In midtown Manhattan on Thursday night, a small group of Catholics opposed to the work gathered outside the Edward Tyler Nahem gallery, where the exhibition opened. Some Christians find the work deeply offensive.
Art cannot be used to show the validity of Christianity; it should rather be the reverse. Hans Rookmaaker. County Museum.
Freedom of religion and freedom of expression have something in common: they both have the power to polarize people. Andres Serrano said he did not intend his photograph of a crucifix submerged in his own urine to offend; indeed, when it was first displayed in galleries, no one protested. But inafter Piss Christ was exhibited in Virginia, it attracted the attention of an outspoken pastor and, soon after, of Congress.
It depicts a small plastic crucifix submerged in a small glass tank of the artist's urine. The piece was a winner of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art 's "Awards in the Visual Arts" competition,  which was sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Artsa United States Government agency that offers support and funding for artistic projects. The work generated a large amount of controversy based on assertions that it was blasphemous. Serrano himself said of the controversy: "I had no idea Piss Christ would get the attention it did, since I meant neither blasphemy nor offense by it.
Oscillating between avant-grade provocateur and traditional Christian iconographer, Andres Serrano defies categorization. Conflicted in faith, well versed in Christian iconography and influenced by Renaissance paintings, Serrano turned to photography as a means of challenging the sacred and in doing so, explore his own relationship with the complex ideologies of contemporary culture. No work from his career elucidates this exploration more than Piss Christ
News that Trump has proposed defunding the National Endowment of the Arts, a grants system created in for promoting arts and the humanities, struck fear in the hearts of artists, art lovers and the organizations who support them. But it also provoked conservatives to trot out a very dusty argument about what exactly the NEA is good for, anyway. The argument goes something like this: The NEA needs to go because it funds garbage atheist liberal art. The problem is not only that this photograph and the accompanying argument is 30 years old, but also that it remains wildly misunderstood.