Symbolism In Art

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Art is about creative expression, it serves as an outlet for emotions and opinions. In present society, art plays a crucial role in culture and helps exemplify present-day issues while also allowing us to connect with the past. Artists present society with a plethora of viewpoints and subjects to think about and every artist has a different style. Art can be a variety of things from sculpture to painting to photography, but at what extent does art become offensive?
One of the most controversial religious pieces within the art world is Andres Serrano’s, “Piss Christ," a photograph that displays a cross submerged in the artist's own urine. When first displayed in 1987 at the Stux Gallery in New York the photograph was received favorably, but
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He continues to say that in present society the meaning of the cross is lost and that we have forgotten that it symbolized torture. Serrano mentions that those who have a problem with its submersion in bodily fluids don’t take into consideration that when Jesus was hung upon the cross, he was probably covered in his own bodily fluids as well. He believes that the image upsets people due to the fact that it relates the symbol to the original meaning.Some Christians believe that it symbolizes what they do with the cross every time they sin. They believe that by sinning, they disrespect Christ similarly and abandon his teachings and sacrifice. Serrano's piece, however, is highly disliked and has been destroyed and vandalized on multiple occasions. It seems that no matter where it goes hatred and protest follow.
Another highly controversial religious photograph is a depiction of the last supper by Jamaican artist Renee Cox. In her portrayal, titled “Yo Mamas Last Supper," Renee Cox displays herself naked in the place of Jesus surrounded by fully clothed male disciples and a white Judas. Her piece has received criticism for the blatant nudity it displays and has been seen as blasphemous by many. Renee Cox though, reasons that her purpose in producing this piece was to symbolize a black female God and help other African-Americans and females feel included in a predominantly
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Well, Cynthia Freeland, author of “But Is It Art?”, explains the multiple reasons an artist might produce questionable pieces. Freeland comments that sometimes the reason for such astonishing pieces is the publicity and attention. She states how controversial pieces are more talked about and more publicized because of their shock value, and within such a competitive field any edge an artist can get is necessary. She explains how most controversial pieces have some form of bodily fluid or nudity depicted within them. Freeland also mentions how sometimes in an effort to set themselves apart artists push the envelope too much resulting in such eccentric pieces. As Freeland expresses, beauty and taste are a complicated topic and setting standards for such things is an intricate process and age-old

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