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Life Arts

Protest Art on 12.18.008 – Four Photographs by Andres Serrano

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“Even though I consider myself a conceptual artist, I am a traditionalist when it comes to photography. I like to use film and shoot straight. No technical gimmicks or special effects. What you see is what I saw when I looked though the camera. If I've dazzled you with lights and colors, it's because I've dazzled you with lights and colors. Ideas are more important than effects. And effects are always better when they're real….In White N*****, a man is made Black through make-up, while a child is "hung" with a harness. Ezra Pound once said, "Make it new." I do. And make it real, too. 

The trick is not so much coming up with ideas, as how to make them work. When I first tried to photograph my ejaculations, for instance, I kept shooting and missing. After about eight times of getting back black film I realized that I needed a motor drive on my camera. I would start shooting film before I felt myself coming, and was able to shoot a roll of film in seconds. Invariably, there would be one shot, and one shot only, of my ejaculate. In Vagina Dentata (Vagina with Teeth) the teeth-they were shark's teeth-kept falling out. I had to keep pushing them in to keep them from coming out. After a while, they stayed in place. When the shoot was over, I tried to get them out, but they were stuck. I then realized that the glue that kept them in place was dried menstrual blood.

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--Andres Serrano, Reprinted from an interview with Julie Ault for "America and other Work by Andres Serrano" published by Taschen.” 

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Virginia Dragoon 44 Magnum (1992)
 

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Colt Direct Action 45 Caliber (1992)
 

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and 

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Colt Direct Action 38 Caliber (1992)
 

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Colt Direct Action 45 Caliber (1992)
 

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(Courtesy Andres Serrano artist and Yvon Lambert Gallery, and artnet and its Artist Works Catalogues.  At its AWC, artnet states: “artnet offers these catalogues free to the public as an educational resource. Simply click on an individual artist's image to begin, and check back often to browse new catalogues.”)  

 

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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)
 

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