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The Art Controversy of Mapplethorpe and Serrano

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He went ahead to capture in his frame some starkly bold moments of eroticism and the incongruous that have irked many. Hs collection called The Perfect Moment with works like ‘Man in Polyester Suit’, ‘osie’ (Levinson, 1990), tose with depictions of female bodybuilder Lisa Lyon’s body parts captured with sensuality combined with the erotic (Levinson, 1990) are some of the evidences of his experimentations. Hs content mainly centred on artistic exploitation of human body making sense of every curve and crevice, te flower concept used more as an sensuality and sexual suggestiveness than of its usual significance of tender beauty and finally of his Catholic themes which were much appreciated for their strong spiritual flavour (Abbe, 2004; Lvinson, 1990).

I order to capture the intended meaning and significance of his thoughts he adopted the traditional or classical mode of portrait photography. Hs photos are all two-dimensional, hs models posed under his strict instructions and he chose monochrome background settings so as to de-contextualize his photos and to give it a timeless appeal (Abbe, 2004). I is believed was much influenced by the photographic style of Edward Weston (Levinson, 1990).

Te reason of choosing portrait and sculpture photography is purely theme based. Prtrait photography helped him in highlighting the different body parts projected in fragments. Srrano made his intentions and purposes behind his photography genre known without being defensive. I his words he claims to be an ‘anti-hero’ or the rebel. Ater being on drugs till his late twenties, hs abstinence and getting back to normal life did create a tremendous impact on his mind. H to the morbidity that his experiences left behind through subverted religious context and images.

Hs ‘Piss Christ’ that shows Christ submerged in the artist’s urine shocked millions and enraged the religious community (Hartigan, 1991; Lvinson, 1990; Eie, 1995). Te ironical part of it is that the picture looks ethereal (O’Hara, 1995) unless one reads its title and Serrano has intentionally arranged for this shock treatment (Hackett, 1998). I shows his interpretation of religious iconography (Hartigan, 1991) which is definitely thought provoking if not equally effective (Elie, 1995). H deliberately use fluids like. ..

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