A White Man With Black Skin

A White Man With Black Skin.

Prejudice is only skin deep. And to prove his point, the photographer, Andres Serrano took a picture of his friend, a well-known personality, but from a very different angle than he would be commonly recognised. Most prejudices are unconscious, or just beneath our subconscious awareness, and unless we have been provoked, it will lie dormant for a very long time; fuelling our innate and warped perspectives. Where do they come from? It is as deep as where our roots go within our respective cultural and family systems. A client who had been at the receiving end of racial prejudice at her workplace and not coping too well with it, summarised it for me one day, “Prejudice can kill you!”

Claiming, “I don’t think my work is shocking,” Andres Serrano is (in)famous for his unflinching colour photographs of controversial subjects, including Ku Klux Klansmen, dead bodies, faeces, handguns, and Catholic figurines submerged in bodily fluids.  Serrano’s photographs are shaped and informed by his strict Roman Catholic upbringing. References to Catholic iconography and doctrine run throughout his work. Carefully composed, suffused with light, and saturated with colour, his photographs appear painterly, their subjects framed with an eye towards such classical sculptural qualities as form, mass, and balance. “I call myself an artist with a camera,” Serrano explains, “because I studied painting and sculpture.” Credit: Artsy.

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