Controversial Artwork ‘Piss Christ’ Resurrected as an NFT for Miami Art Week

Ares Serrano’s PISS CHRIST (1987) is one of the most vandalized artworks in modern history. Still, for its 35th anniversary this year, the work is set to be immortalized on the Ethereum blockchain to guard against future destruction and preserve it forever.

To celebrate the event, PISS CHRIST will be shown at Miami Art Week from November 30th to December 3rd, but only as an NFT. The showing is in collaboration with a/political and Christie’s.

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The original 60×40-inch photograph was produced from a wooden crucifix placed in the artist’s urine. The act sparked raging debate around what free expression protects, what qualifies as art, and what public funds should go towards.

An NFT is a digital asset that can come in the form of art, music, in-game items, videos, and more. They are bought and sold online, frequently with cryptocurrency, and they are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptos. ~Forbes 

The a/political organization tweeted that the NFT will change to reflect the vandalism the work has undergone over the years, including three transformations to reflect three of these vandalizations.

One vandalization the article refers to was the destruction of the image on the Congress floor on May 18, 1989, in which the photo was ripped. Another was an attack on the image in Victoria, Australia, in 1997, one of whom attacked the work with a hammer. The third was a 2011 hammer attack in The Collection Lambert in Avignon.

Born and raised a Roman Catholic, Andres Serrano gave his thoughts on why he continues to stand by his work, even as a Christian, and on its virtual preservation.

“Piss Christ is a reflection of my work, not only as an artist but as a Christian. I am glad that this artwork is now eternal, taking on a new life in the Metaverse.”

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