Andres Serrano, ‘America, Anna - Nicole Smith’, 2004, Salamatina Gallery

Andres Serrano considers America his greatest achievement. Three years of work produced over one hundred 50-by-60-inch photographic portraits representing the cultural diversity of this immigrant country, as filtered through the critical lens of Serrano. There are celebrities: Arthur Miller, Snoop Dogg, Anna Nicole Smith, B.B. King, Vanessa del Rio; and ordinary citizens: a pimp, a boy scout, a doctor, a Russian Orthodox Bishop. America is intimate, honest, and demanding of response, like all Serrano’s work. The second half of this big volume, Other Work, is a retrospective of Serrano’s previous photographic series. Together these two impressive halves create the whole of Andres Serrano’s artistic oeuvre.

In 1989 US Senator Jesse Helms accused Andres Serrano of taunting the American people. America and Other Work is the perfect rebuttal.

Signature: on the back

Salamatina Gallery, 'La joie de vivre,' the Palais des beaux-arts de Lille - Du 26 septembre 2015 au 17 janvier 2016

Andres Serrano. America and other Work, Dian Hanson, Hardcover, 11.0 x 14.5 in., 368 pages (Taschen).
Exhibition catalogue 'La joie de vivre,' the Palais des beaux-arts de Lille - Du 26 septembre 2015 au 17 janvier 2016

Salamatina Gallery

About Andres Serrano

Claiming, “I don’t think my work is shocking,” Andres Serrano is (in)famous for his unflinching color photographs of controversial subjects, including Ku Klux Klansmen, dead bodies, feces, handguns, and Catholic figurines submerged in bodily fluids. He is perhaps best known for Piss Christ (1987), a shockingly beautiful close-up of a plastic crucifix suspended in urine, which scandalized Jesse Helms during the American Culture Wars. Serrano’s photographs are shaped by his training in painting and sculpture and informed by his strict Roman Catholic upbringing. References to Catholic iconography and doctrine run throughout his work. Carefully composed, suffused with light, and saturated with color, his photographs appear painterly, their subjects framed with an eye towards such classical sculptural qualities as form, mass, and balance. “I call myself an artist with a camera,” Serrano explains, “because I studied painting and sculpture.”

American, b. 1950, New York, New York, based in New York, New York