(some NSWF images) has made controversial art for decades, with his piece Piss Christ
causing controversy shortly after it was created in 1987. In 1989, the photograph initiated outrage against the National Endowment for the Arts because of "anti-Christian bigotry"
. Then the piece was physically attacked two times in one weekend
, when it was first shown in the National Gallery of Victoria
in 1997. In December 2010, the Collection Lambert museum of contemporary art
in Avignon, France opened a show called "I Believe in Miracles"
that includes pieces of minimal art, conceptual art and land art, and includes Piss Christ
. The photograph had been shown in France before without disturbance, and had been shown without incident in Collection Lambert for four months, but around 1,000 protesters marched to the museum on Saturday, and on Sunday vandals succeeded in attacking the picture
, breaking the plexiglass shield and slashing the photograph. The museum is open again, and the damaged work is still on display
In the struggle to get to Piss Christ
, another Serrano photograph, The Church (Sœur Jeanne-Myriam) was also damaged
Guardian arts writer Jonathan Jones said the vandals "took the bait," and likened the photo
to the gruesome details
in the Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald
, and the "popular religiosity" of Warhol's Last Supper series
Serrano has made a number of photographs of other immersed statuettes
, but none seem to have raised such concern and ire as Piss Christ
Previous Serrano vandalism: self proclaimed "National Socialists" destroyed nearly half of Andres Serrano's exhibit "The History of Sex"
, and videotaped themselves in the act.