Archive for June, 2001

Andres Serrano

June 22, 2001

Luther, the lumbering Dalmatian, meanders across the hardwood floor, nails clicking, and vies with me for the attention of Andres Serrano. How could I be jealous? A sweet beast with mischievous eyes, Luther has the run of Serrano’s private sanctum and is most likely oblivious to the religious figures, dark red velvet, and stuffed Siamese cat that captivate me the instant I walk into the apartment. One might expect that the home of an artist of Serrano’s caliber would be a refuge from the otherwise surreal and penetrating images that find their way onto film and into galleries and museums throughout the world. But the space is a reflection of Serrano’s art, simple yet deeply symbolic, minimal yet richly textured. Luther gets a handful of doggy treats and settles onto the floor, spread belly up and vulnerable. Serrano himself settles into interview mode, cautious and guarded, perhaps a reaction to years of media attention of his challenging and iconoclastic work that has been both hailed as visionary and derided as blasphemous. There is little small talk, and Serrano answers questions like a man who has been interrogated too many times for a crime he didn’t even know existed. I try desperately to avoid the word “controversial.” Luther, needless to say, is the most comfortable creature in the room.