Paul McCarthy was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1945. McCarthy currently works mainly in video and sculpture. Some of his works we can consider as bizarre sculptures, as they are pretty impressive.
Originally formally trained as a painter, McCarthy’s main interest lies in everyday activities and the mess created by them.
McCarthy’s works include performance, installation, film and “painting as action”. 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.
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. Absent or present, the human figure is a constant element in his work, whether in the form of bodies in action, satirical caricatures, or animistic sculptures; as the residue of a private ritual; or as architectural space left uninhabited for the viewer to occupy. 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.