Andres Serrano: I am drawn to the symbols of the Church. I like the aesthetics of the Church. I like Church furniture. I like going to Church for aesthetic reasons, rather than spiritual ones. In my work, I explore my own Catholic obsessions. An artist is nothing without his or her obsessions, and I have mine. One of the things that always bothered me was the fundamentalist labeling of my work as "anti-Christian bigotry." As a former Catholic, and as someone who even today is not opposed to being called a Christian, I felt I had every right to use the symbols of the Church. The best place for Piss Christ is in a church. I think if the Vatican is smart, someday they'll collect my work. I am not a heretic. I like to believe that rather than destroy icons, I make new ones.
Andres Serrano: I photographed these people after the moment of death. I never knew them as human beings. I never knew what languages they spoke, what their religious or political beliefs were, how much money they had, or who they loved. All I know about them is the cause of death. The idea of death being opened for scrutiny is very disturbing. Most of us assume we are going to go gently into that good night. What I found when I went to the morgue is that most of these people there died tragic, violent deaths. I won’t say that I believe in a soul. But, I do believe that I’ve captured an essence, a humanity in these people. For me, these are not mere corpses. They are not inanimate, lifeless objects. There is a sense of life, a spirituality that I get from them. This is an important point for me. There is life after death, in a way. This project made me more at ease with the idea of dying.