Serrano and Maplethorp were two of the controversial artists who received
funds from the NEA several years ago. Maplethorp, who was a very talented
photographer, received funding for his suggestive photos of males. These
artists and others were the main reason for the beginning of the "downsizing"
of the NEA. It gave the "conservatives" lots of ammunition.
I saw and heard Serrano at the Dallas Museum of Art shortly after that. Talk
about lack of meaning in art -- he didn't seem to have a reason for doing the
crosses in urine, blood, milk, etc. Seemed to me he just did them to attract
attention (which he did!) and perhaps to be the "first" to do it. His talk
made him come across (to me) as a shallow person. I could be wrong -- that
could have been a bad day!