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Paul McCarthy on vandalized tree: 'The piece is about Western culture'

Artist Paul McCarthy generated headlines around the world in October when his 80-foot inflatable installation "Tree" was vandalized and later destroyed by protesters in Paris who found its similarities in form to a sexual aide offensive.

Now the prominent Los Angeles installation artist has given an interview to the Hollywood Reporter about the whole experience. 

"It would be hard for me to say that being the prankster or provocateur isn't part of the work," he told the magazine. "But when I made the big 'Tree' in France, I really did want to make it. An 80-foot inflatable was something I wanted to see — something about that object at that scale excited me. And it's this monotone green. It's like, What is that shape? Is it a tree? An abstract object?" 

McCarthy likened the sculpture to works by surrealist Jean (Hans) Arp and abstract sculptor Constanin Brancusi. "I think the piece is about Western culture," he added.

In the interview, he also discusses being attacked, as well as some of his seminal artistic influences (such as Disneyland).

Read the full interview at the Hollywood Reporter.

Find me on Twitter @cmonstah.

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