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The Art Controversy of Mapplethorpe and Serrano Essay Example

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The Art Controversy of Mapplethorpe and Serrano

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The Art Controversy of Mapplethorpe and Serrano. He went ahead to capture in his frame some starkly bold moments of eroticism and the incongruous that have irked many. His collection called The Perfect Moment with works like ‘Man in Polyester Suit’, ‘Rosie’ (Levinson, 1990), those 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. His content mainly centred on artistic exploitation of human body making sense of every curve and crevice, the flower concept used more as an association of 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;

Levinson, 1990).In order to capture the intended meaning and significance of his thoughts he adopted the traditional or classical mode of portrait photography. His photos are all two-dimensional, his 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). It is believed that he was much influenced by the photographic style of Edward Weston (Levinson, 1990). The reason of choosing portrait and sculpture photography is purely theme based. Portrait photography helped him in highlighting the different body parts projected in fragments.Serrano made his intentions and purposes behind his photography genre known without being defensive. In his words he claims to be an ‘anti-hero’ or the rebel. After being on drugs till his late twenties, his abstinence and getting back to normal life did create a tremendous impact on his mind. He chose to depict the morbidity that his experiences left behind through subverted religious context and images. His ‘Piss Christ’ that shows Christ submerged in the artist’s urine shocked millions and enraged the religious community (Hartigan, 1991; Levinson, 1990; Elie, 1995). The 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). It shows his interpretation of religious iconography (Hartigan, 1991) which is definitely thought provoking if not equally effective (Elie, 1995). He would deliberately use body fluids like. The Art Controversy of Mapplethorpe and Serrano.

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References

Abbe, M (2004). Controversial classicist; A new show of Robert Mapplethorpe photos dodges controversy to tout tradition. Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN). Retrieved 12th December 2008 from High Beam Research

Celant, G (1993). Robert Mapplethorpe: Man in a Polyester Suit. Artforum International. Retrieved 12th December 2008 from High Beam Research

Elie, P (1995). Andres Serrano on view. Commonweal. Retrieved 12th December 2008 from High Beam Research

Hackett, R (1998). Serrano’s `Unacceptable photographs are troubling yet filled with grace. Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA). Retrieved 12th December 2008 from High Beam Research

Hartigan, P (1991). Andres Serrano: photographic rebel. The Boston Globe. Retrieved 12th December 2008 from High Beam Research

Kidd, D (2003). Mapplethorpe and the new obscenity. Afterimage. Retrieved 12th December 2008 from High Beam Research

Levinson, D, A (1990). Robert Mapplethorpe’s Extraordinary Vision. The Tech, 110 (31). Retrieved 13th December 2008 from http://tech.mit.edu/V110/N31/mapple.31a.html

O’Hara, D (1995). Andres Serrano Finds Critical Fame at Last. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 12th December 2008 from High Beam Research

Salisbury, S (1994). Photographer Serrano wants all to see his work, not controversy, in exhibit. Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service. Retrieved 12th December 2008 from High Beam Research

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