the guardian |Jonathan Jones

In 1989, Republican senators Jesse Helms and Alfonse D’Amato launched an attack on artistic freedom. They railed against Piss Christ, a photograph by Andres Serrano of a cheap crucifix in a tank of the artist’s own urine. The red and yellow tints of Serrano’s piss give this modern Baroque artwork a spookily spiritual quality, redolent of the light in old churches, yet for these culture warriors of the conservative right it was just a desecration and an insult, exhibited, outrageously, using money from the National Endowment for the Arts.