PARIS.- Yvon Lambert
is presenting the 9th exhibition dedicated to Andres Serrano until the 16th of January 2014. For this new exhibition, the photographer presents about twenty pictures coming from his new photo serie «Cuba».
This serie of photographs, by the acclaimed American photographer, born in 1950 in New York, began in May 2012. It was the first time that he went to the country where his mother grew up (she was not born there but spent her childhood and youth in Cuba). He consequently forged a complex relation with Cuban culture: Spanish is therefore his mother tongue, and if he has always been surrounded by these influences - whether it is the language or state of mind - he still had a lack of intimate knowledge of the country, its political state or its history.
It is, consequently, without any forged prejudice or ideas that he accepted the invitation of the Havana Biennale to discover Cuba in order to make an important work in situ.
The living room of a private house is quickly turned into a photo studio and thanks to his local assistants, Serrano is able to take portraits of intellectuals, musicians, artists, writers but also unknown persons that he met through discovering the city. Like in his famous portrait serie (Nomads, America or The Clan), the sitter is often depicting as a representant of a social group, monumentalized against a blank background, in front of the camera which captures the shadows around his face and the different textures and bright colors of his clothing.
Yet, he goes outside to meet residents and to take pictures of the city intimacy : colonial indoors houses that reminds the magnifience of past time, residents in their routine day lives in arrangement that falls into the classic tradiction of genre scenes, or still life reworked...
However, soon enough, the photographer lacks time and extends his trip of a month with the firm attention of coming back. What he does six week later under the form of a ten days road trip through the country. «I wanted to conquer, discover and embrace Cuba. She became my home, my studio, my family, my Muse. She inspired me and called out to me in ways I could not have imagined. I waited a lifetime to see Cuba and now I wanted to see all of her.»
The photo serie presented for the occasion of the exhibition in Paris is a selection among hundreds of pictures, which gives an overview of the discovery and appreciation of a country that appears to us as odd familiarity. The Cuba serie, therefore, develops a true portrait of the country, not like a photographer who documents a subject, but as an artist who uses photography as a way to recreate his own reality.
Andres Serrano was born in New York in 1950, comes from a half Honduran and half Afro-Cuban family and was raised in a strict Catholic family. After studying at the Brooklyn Museum Art School from 1967 to 1969, he takes a job as assistant of an art director in advertising. His first work, in 1983 is mainly influenced by Surrealism and Dada movement where appear themes that he will, later, develop in his work: religious iconography, animal corpses, fascination for fresh and blood
Blood is for the artist, a symbol of passion and violence, drama and spirituality, political and sexual practices that he will develop with urine, milk and sperm. The photo series, Body Fluids and Immersions, made between 1985 and 1990 are, particularly representative of his work. Thereafter, after debates and scandals that appeared with his Piss Christ, Serrano will turn towards portraits through series of different social grounds: Nomads in 1990 represents homeless people; Budapest Serie in 1992, History of Sex in 1997, Klan Serie in 1990 and The Morgue in 1992.
He has been featured in solo exhibitions at venues including (selected shows) : Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, US ; Photology, Milan, IT; 5th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, GR; MEO Contemporary Art Collection, Budapest, RO; Saatchi Gallery, London, UK ; Barbican Art Center, London, UK ; Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris, FR and New York, US ; Bergen Art Society, Bergen, NO (exhibition thereafter displays at Helsinski City Art Museum, FI; Ciurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas, LT; Ludwig Foundation, Aachen, DE; Barbican Art Center, London, UK ...); Horsens Museum of Modern Art, in cooperation with Groninger Museum, NL; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, AU ; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, HR ; Mokka, Reykjavik, IS ; Center for the Fine Arts, Miami, US ; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, US ; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, US ; Institute of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam, NL ...
His photos are held in permanent collections of institutions as (selected shows) : Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, US ; The Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, US; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, US; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, US; Modern Art Museum, Forth Worth, US; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid ; Museum of Contemprary Arts / MACs - Grand Hornu, BE; Institute of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam, NL; CAPC Musée dArt Contemporain, Bordeaux, FR; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, AU ; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, IL ...