The Use of Fluid in Art

The American artist Andres Serrano, known for his large-scale photographs embedded with bodily fluids for visual effects and religious symbolism. Serrano, considered a Conceptual artist,  creates artwork often deemed provocative and controversial. Serrano utilizes bodily fluids in large cibachromes, in a manner that questions the realism of photography; while simultaneously portraying what is often thought of as “taboo substances”, in a seductive fashion. Serrano’s became prominent for his photographs, which unite beauty and vulgarity.

One of Serrano most famous works is Piss Christ. Serrano possibly had anti-idolatrous aspiration, which is conveyed by humanizing Christ’s sacrifice, by making his blood and his urine visible. Serrano humanizes Christ, in Piss Christ (1987), bodily fluids are a normal feature of humans, by exploring the face that Christ would have had urinated while being crucified, Serrano is authenticating Christ. Serrano is vague, although the titles of his works may have a sense defiance and  descriptive clarity. His work allows Serrano to search for what he values in religion. Piss Christ illustrates Serrano’s faith, while also articulating his desire to have the viewer question organized religion, and the viewers decision to worship at all. He is questioning the notion of what makes something acceptable. Serrano blatantly uses his artistic voice to explore his personal perception of his religious community and forces those individuals inside and outside the Christian faith to question. Piss Christ is meant to voice Serrano’s desire to humanize religious icons, and push the boundaries of what defines religious art within the Christian community, as well as outside the Church.

Art is meant to break boundaries and the use of new materials, such a bodily fluids, only expands the scale of what defines art.

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