Placing the artist subordinate to their subject, icon veneration is art which sees its maker at their meekest, often declaring the belief that they will never be as great as the subject they portray. Both Artist and Model and Piss Christ deal with people the artist's believe to be greater than themselves, yet each have aspects which can appear to doubt this.
As a photograph, Piss Christ is huge at 60 by 40 inches. This scale and the highly glossy surface of the Cibachrome print help to emphasise the image's power. The picture and title together appear to simplify matters and we are led to believe that the liquid surrounding this cross and model of a crucified man is urine and that the man is a representation of Jesus Christ. The colour palette is limited to glowing oranges.
David Hockney's etching deals almost solely in black ink on white paper, though some shades of grey are seen. The process of etching will have led to similarities between each image when the final production was produced insomuch as the drawing will have existed before being applied to the surface on which it now exists. The composition shows two men sitting at a table, one dressed, one naked, looking in the direction of each other. They sit in front of a large window which overlooks a house and tree. The most detailed areas are those concerning the men directly, their bodies and clothes, while objects they connect with, a table, chairs, the floor and the held paper are shown as little more than basic, solid forms. The background of the curtains, window and scene outside are simply linear representations. Clearly this draws the focus to the men. Again, the title helps us to understand the piece's context telling us that we see an artist and a model sitting opposite. In an historical context, we can assume that the model is the nude; this is perhaps also implied by the title's order (the artist, who we can now assume sits on the left is mentioned first and therefore is on the left-hand side of the title).