gay blog, gay news, artists, activists, catholic, protestor, assault, museum, avignon

‘Piss Christ’ Vandalized, Museum Guards Assaulted

gay blog, gay news, artists, activists, catholic, protestor, assault, museum, avignon
Looks asparagus-y.

File this one under things that make you go “Ew.” New York artist Andres Serrano’s controversial series of religious imagery and relics submerged in vats of…fluids…including milk, blood, and in the case of the titular piece here, urine are no stranger to public outcry.

Catholic activists in Avignon, the City of the Pope got their pre-Easter bash on quite literally by attacking museum guards and taking a hammer, pickaxe and paint bombs to the Piss Christ photograph on display in the city’s museum.

Seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through and get into in order to destroy a photograph. For the record, a 1997 print of the same photo was destroyed by two teens in the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia. The artist, who is a Catholic himself, is clearly capable of simply reprinting his work here, so it seems like all these activists are doing is creating more notoriety and publicity for the image they are trying so desperately to destroy.

French News Online reports:

The work, one of two images vandalised, is known as the ‘Piss Christ’. It is a photo of a crucifix immersed in a glass of the artist’s urine and is not new, dating from 1987. It has been on show at Avignon as part of the Collection Lambert since December 2010. Labelled blasphemous by hard-line Catholics, it has angered believers in a number of countries where it has been shown.

The attack was preceded by weeks of protest in the city. But don’t just take it from us, here’s a French language news report on the story.

Did Piss Christ have it coming? Or should the Catholic protestors practice what they preach and quit their coveting of the artist’s belongings?

Via French News Online

  • Just…ew.

  • Rich

    Granted, the photograph should not have been vandalized, however a picture of a cruxifix, or ANYTHING else, for that matter, in piss is rather disgusting.

  • John R. Petrozino Jr.

    You know what the lady said when she kissed the cow’s ass? “To each their own.”

  • Trenton Flock

    Of course the image did not have it coming, just as Chris Ofili’s “The Holy Virgin Mary” or David Wojnarowicz’s “Fire in My Belly” did not deserve to be censored because of pressure from fundamentalist zealots. It boggles my mind that believers in a “holy” book that encourages and justifies rape, infanticide, genocide, torture, slavery, and more can somehow claim offense at any image at all, let alone destroy or censor it. And yet, I take from this a delicious sense of irony, for these pitiful thugs destroyed an image of their own precious god. It’s kind of beautiful in a way…

  • Anonymous

    Based on the comments below, it seems that the gay public has a lot to learn about art. (And for that reason, I am quite ashamed.)

    Art is not made to make people happy, to entertain, to look good over a sofa, or to seem delicious. Art ist art. It simply exists- without a need for reason. In fact, successful art exists to make people conceptualize their own interpretations.

    When people lash out at art and destroy it, they are preventing other patrons, museum-goers, art lovers, and potential artists from learning from that piece. They are also taking away the artist’s freedom of expression which is covered by the first amendment in the constitution.

    If the “Piss Christ” had it coming, then who’s to say that Van Gogh’s “Vase of Sunflowers” shouldn’t be shredded into millions of pieces? Not a single work of art is better than another. It all receives value based on purely subjective criteria.

  • Kris

    this piece is quite amazing, nor is art prone to vandals. i believe a piece like this almost asks to be destroyed. it opens its self to it. the fact that any piece produces in a person such emotion, an out cry to destroy the work, means it’s art. they probably shouldn’t of beaten the poor guards though.

  • Kris

    excuse me, i have a bachelors in fine arts and i’m working on my masters. why i say that andres aerrano’s “piss christ” allows for itself to be vandalized, in a performance art aspect if you will, is that, it’s a photograph. it can easily be reproduced. par for example kinetic sculpture, which exists to destroy itself. or further out the pablo picasso in chicago, meant to rust over time. also there is a theory, unfortunately though, even looking through my books the word by passes my tongue at the moment, about how destruction of the work shouldn’t necessarily be considered a bad thing, if emotion is brought out of person strong enough that they want a piece eradicated. then, you actually might have something, something deep and beautiful. raw human emotion. hate can be as rewarding as love in art my friend. also, i am not a bigot towards art.

  • Anonymous

    Destruction of another’s art is not justified as performance art. Period. No one supports your “theory” except for you.

  • Anonymous

    doesn’t really matter… it’s art.

  • Kris

    go to art school, a lot of people do thank you.

  • Anonymous

    You’ll never be able to convince me, or the masses for that matter, that art should be destroyed for the sake of performance. You are still ill-prepared to present logical defense of the destruction of works of art. Your anecdotal information is dangerous to the art world because it lacks scholarly research, while attempting to persuade the public into buying this hoax of an idea. You’ll soon learn in your MFA program that, yes- even in art school, one must do research and respond to science, math, and data.

    Furthermore, photographs can be destroyed as easily as a watercolor on cotton paper. Negatives taken on real film will eventually become overexposed, and digital images can be wiped out by de-magnetization. Everything must come to an end; so why should museum vandals accelerate art’s demise?

    By the way, I wish to evoke the old saying “what goes around comes around.” Be prepared for people to destroy your art if you encourage the destruction of others’ art.

    I am now weary of this useless banter. I shall go on knowing that the preservation of great works is important to teach younger generations about art and society; while you will go on believing that people will accept your new fad-driven criminal curiosities about vandalism. Destruction is an engulfing enterprise. Don’t let it consume you.

  • Kris

    uh, i’ve done a lot of research hun, and i have a good idea of scholarly input to back up my ideas and have been giving them, quoting artists and works that go along with my theory, as you have just been telling me i’m wrong. , i have a 4.0 gpa, and straight As in one of the top art schools in this country. . also i would love and rejoice in the idea of my art getting destroyed. see robert rauschenberg’s the erased de kooning, which he refers to as a performance piece. where he went to willem de kooning’s studio, asked him for one of his favorite drawings, was given it, and proceeded to erase from history a master piece, which was considered by many to be destructive and blasphemous towards art. however it questions the validity of art. again, also i know plenty of artists who refuse to go to museums, they believe the actually view the work distracts from the idea of the work, as the object that is produced is merely an explanation of the idea. so as duchamp’s ready made, and dada both started deconstructing art, asking what makes art, is it my idea, or the physical piece that will eventually come out of it. they believed the idea to be sacred, not the work its self. see duchamp’s fountain. the modern ideal that art is dead, un important, and the post-structuralism to question art in all its forms. i never said i supported the destruction of art, but i support the ideas behind it. since art is made to provoke emotion, to deny the fact that it produces with in some one t he emotion to destroy a piece is harmful to the power art has over us, and what it tap into. the ONYL reason i theorize that this piece MAY OF BEEN INTEDED to be destroyed, is yes, artists have worked with the idea of destroying art as performance art. you may disagree with me, but don’t try an insult me when YOU obviously have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • I think this icon symbolizes the very essence of those who defiled innocence in the name of God. Let’s burn a Bible to illuminate the path of life, shall we?

  • Kris

    you’re just a bit of a troll arn’t you? let people have their opinions.

  • Anonymous

    I am of the view that worth while art must make us feel something, good or bad…..

    Vandalism is not cool, that said some art needs to be adjusted or deserves to be adjusted , like art by the Nazi’s or Ma’am-E dolls ….

    There is no ultimate answer…. There is always a reason(s) To or Not to.

  • Robin Day

    Any supposed supreme being should not need puny mortals to do its dirty work.

  • kurraboo

    the artist did indeed intend on this work to be controverial.
    it is meant to shock people, like his other works.
    he created this piece to voice his opinion on how the world views religion, & in his case, it’s through piss.
    a semi translucent substance, yet it is still cloudy if you peer through it.
    the over zealous bigots who destroyed the work clearly did not look into, nor grasp, what the piece is conveying.
    that said, the emotion evoked is wonderful, although the destruction of the photograph was far from necessary.