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Paul McCarthy

Artist 107 Paul McCarthy The Disturbing Dwarfs Silicon and Bronze

Paul McCarthy (born 1945) is a contemporary artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He is an artist who first made his name through performances in which he would cover himself with food, feces, or insert toys into his rectum.

McCarthy's works include performance, installation, film and "painting as action". He is an artist whose work often features violent psychosexual takes on American pop culture.

His points of reference are rooted, on the one hand, in things typically American, such as Disneyland, B-Movies, Soap Operas and Comics – he is a critical analyst of the mass media and consumer-driven American society and its hypocrisy, double standards and repression.

On the other hand, it is European avant-garde art that has had the most influence on his artistic form language. Inspired by American popular culture, lewd sexual innuendo, and McCarthy constructs complicated critiques of consumerism and art.

“I had this thing about exposing the interior of the body,” the artist has said, “the orifices leading into the body, and what the interior was, and the taboos of the interior.”

His work aims to make his audience feel uncomfortable and often succeeds in stirring controversy.

Today’s focus is on his Snow White and the Seven Dwarf series. His silicon-molded dwarves of nearly human height (the tallest is 185 cm/6 feet) show signs of various abuses.

The amusingly hideous new Bronze Sculptures a viewer might imagine a narrative that are not quite the innocent, hard-working dwarves of the first ever feature-length Disney animation.

These sculptures have been desecrated, by gouging and tearing into them, grossly distorting them and adding sexually explicit and scatological elements.

Even works that do not show such strong violent implications have been twisted by the artist’s unique sensibility.

The result of combining childhood characters and morphing them with the line between Abject and Decay and Ugliness is distorting. The artist causes for pause.


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