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Paul McCarthy: Chaos & Debauchery | "Exclusive" | Art21

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Published on Mar 16, 2012

Episode #152: Filmed in his Los Angeles studio, two of Paul McCarthy's long-time assistants — Thomas Harris and Craig McIntyre — describe the process of sculpting, molding, and fabricating the artist's large-scale works. Likening McCarthy's artistic approach to taking a "snapshot of disorder" that's then meticulously reproduced, Harris and McIntyre discuss how the formal qualities of the work dovetail with themes of chaos and debauchery.

Paul McCarthy's video-taped performances and provocative multimedia
installations lampoon polite society, ridicule authority, and bombard
the viewer with a sensory overload of often sexually-tinged, violent
imagery. With irreverent wit, McCarthy often takes aim at cherished
American myths and icons—Walt Disney, the Western, and even the Modern
Artist—adding a touch of malice to subjects that have been
traditionally revered for their innocence or purity. Whether
conflating real-world political figures with fantastical characters
such as Santa Claus, or treating erotic and abject content with
frivolity and charm, McCarthy's work confuses codes, mixes high and
low culture, and provokes an analysis of fundamental beliefs.

Learn more about Paul McCarthy at: http://www.art21.org/artists/paul-mcc...

CREDITS | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan
Sollins. Camera: Robert Elfstrom. Sound: Doug Dunderdale. Editor:
Joaquin Perez. Artwork Courtesy: Paul McCarthy. Special Thanks: Thomas
Harris & Craig McIntyre. Video: © 2012, Art21, Inc. All rights
reserved.

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