Andres Serrano, ‘Heaven and Hell’, 1984, RoGallery
Andres Serrano, ‘Heaven and Hell’, 1984, RoGallery

"In Heaven and Hell, Andres Serrano challenges the benevolence of the Catholic Church while also taking on the sexualization of violence against women. The work was made in collaboration with political artist Leon Golub, who appears in the photograph wearing the red robes of a Cardinal, subtly smiling as he looks away from the blood-splattered nude who is bound and suspended next to him. Serrano said of the work, "I'm referring to the relationship the Church has with women, whether they are aware of women as human beings or just take them for granted and dismiss them."

Size: 27.5 x 40 inches (69.9 cm x 101.6 cm)
Frame: 32.5 x 45 inches

Signature: Signed, titled, and numbered on verso

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