Andres Serrano
[Artist, b. 1950, New York, lives in New York.]

 I say things, but I say them indirectly. At the same time, I try to make my images as direct as possible. 
 I like to believe that rather than destroy icons, I make new ones. 
 My work is intensely personal. I don’t think that because I am Hispanic I should therefore do Hispanic work. Are cum shots Hispanic? What about close-ups of menstrual pads? 
 I realize that people expect a certain level of provocation from me. But when I provoke they get angry, and when I don’t provoke they are disappointed. 
 I think if the Vatican is smart, someday they’ll collect my work. 
 I am appalled by the claim of “anti-Christian bigotry” that has been attributed to my picture, “Piss Christ.” The photograph, and the title itself, are ambiguously provocative but certainly not blasphemous. Over the years, I have addressed religion regularly in my art. My Catholic upbringing informs this work which helps me to redefine and personalize my relationship with God. My use of such bodily fluids as blood and urine in this context is parallel to Catholicism’s obsession with “the body and blood of Christ.” 
 I’ve always understood the nature of conflict and duality, so I don’t have a problem with the duality of images and the fact that they can blow hot and cold or be seductive and critical at the same time. 
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