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Andres Serrano (American, b.1950)

Photography

Birth Place: New York, NY (United States)

Biography:

Who is photographer Andres Serrano?

Andres Serrano is an American photographer who is best known for his controversial photography, which often pushes the boundaries of what art can be. He has reached wide audiences thanks to his commercial work, which includes album artwork for the band Metallica on both their Load and Reload albums. Early in his career, Serrano worked in advertising for a time, producing many notable pieces, but since the 1980s has focused on his own artistic photography and unique perspective.

While controversial, there is no denying Serrano’s success. His pieces have been exhibited in prestigious and unique locations across the globe including the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Barbican Arts Centre in London, the Wexler Gallery, and The School. He continues to produce art that sparks discussion and controversy to this day.

What kind of art does Andres Serrano make?

Andres Serrano is an experimental photographer and artist. He is known for his controversial subjects and stirring controversy as an agitator and pioneer of freedom of expression. He burst onto the scene in 1987 with the photograph, Piss Christ which featured a photograph of a plastic crucifix that was then submerged in Serrano’s own urine. While upsetting to some, the piece sold for $277,000 -- over ten times what the estimates had predicted beforehand. That’s exactly the sort of artist that Serrano is -- controversial, brilliant, and ultimately lucrative for any collector who chooses to invest in his pieces.

How did photographer Andres Serrano get started?

Andres Serrano was born in New York City in 1950 to a Honduran father and a mother who identified as Afro-Cuban. Serrano grew up in the artistic melting pot of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The young artist grew up Catholic and became interested in art after a school trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At 15, Serrano dropped out of high school but would return at the end of the 1960s where he attended the prestigious Brooklyn Museum of Art School. It was after this that Serrano’s career would pause as he entered into a wild, youthful phase of his life. After becoming sober at age 28, he joined an advertising firm as an assistant art director. From there he became interested in photography, especially the art movements of the surrealists and Dadaists. He found large artistic success in the 1980s when his photographs from Body Fluids and Immersions (1985-1989) became the subject of a 1989 congressional session.

How much are Andres Serrano photographs worth?

An Andres Serrano photograph can be worth anywhere from around $7,000 for a minor piece to over $300,000 for major work. The most ever paid for an Andres Serrano photograph at auction is $314,500 for the piece Piss Christ (1987) which sold on November 9th, 2011. This is by far the highest-selling photograph and represents the top three spots, as it has been resold several times. Its popularity is no doubt buoyed by its controversy, Piss Christ was the subject of a 1989 congressional session and a subsequent New York Times article.

Where to buy Andres Serrano photographs for sale?

See works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Andres Serrano photographs?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services department.


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