Racy ‘tree’ sculpture by Paul McCarthy draws attention in Paris
A public sculpture by the provocative Los Angeles artist Paul McCarthy has drawn a great deal of attention and even some ire in Paris, where it recently went on display in the city’s ritzy Place Vendôme.
“Tree,” a green inflatable sculpture that stands nearly 80 feet in height, ostensibly depicts a Christmas tree. But a number of media outlets, art blogs and passersby on social media have noted that the work of art more closely resembles a sex toy.
The McCarthy installation is on display as part of a citywide exhibition held by FIAC, an arts organization that exhibits works in Paris and Los Angeles.
Le Monde reported on Friday that the 69-year-old McCarthy was recently assaulted by a man near the “Tree” installation. The report states that McCarthy was struck three times in the face by a man who shouted that the artist isn’t French and that the inflatable work has no business being there.
The assailant wasn’t identified. “Does this sort of thing happen often in France?” the artist was quoted as saying. (McCarthy wasn’t seriously hurt in the attack, according to Le Monde.)
McCarthy is no stranger to transgressive art, or well-timed media provocations. The L.A. artist’s inflatable installation “Complex ---" depicts a pile of dog feces and has caused consternation in Switzerland and Hong Kong.
His sculpture “Santa Claus” depicts the North Pole gift-giver holding a giant sex toy. The artist has created a sculptural work depicting former President George W. Bush having sex with pigs.
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