Paris deflates McCarthy’s ‘so called’ Christmas Tree Installation cause it looks like…

Here’s a fine time to talk about how we view art. How many people see a Christmas tree and how many of you see…well, you know.

Tree Installation

US artist Paul McCarthy drew outrage from some Parisans’ when his 80 ft high installation erected at the famed landmark, Place Vendome was said to ‘vaguely’ resemble a Christmas Tree.

The inflatable green sculpture, Tree was part of FIAC (International Contemporary Art Fair), who gave the artist carte blanche to create a piece for the square as part of it’s ‘Beyond The Walls’ program.  Seems like they may have wanted to preview this one.

Shortly after its erection, came reports of vandals efforts to sabotage the piece by cutting the support cables, and tampering with the fans that allowed it to inflate properly.  The artist even reported being struck in the face by several angry bystanders. By Saturday evening, McCarthy agreed with the decision bring Tree down permanently.

McCarthy talked with French magazine, LeMonde on Friday, admitting that some of the inspiration for the installation was derived from a joke about a sex toy.  “It all started with a joke. Originally, I thought that a butt plug had a shape similar to the sculptures of Constantin Brâncusi. Afterwards, I realized that it looked like a Christmas tree,” McCarthy said.

“People can be offended if they want to think of it as a plug, but for me it is more of an abstraction.” (thanks Google Translator)

McCarthy Tree Sculpture

Lets’s face it…this is McCarthy’s style, less we forget his landing a giant pile of  inflatable poop on the lawn in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon district during the outdoor art project “Mobile M+: Inflation! or his 2011 ‘Santa’ sculpture in the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, which held that suspicious looking ‘tree’.

Meanwhile he’s got a new show coming up in Paris, Chocolate Factory, opening on October 25th at the CCC. I’m guessing that’s going to be the site of the next McCarthy controversy.

(AP Photos/Francois Mori,European Press Photo Agency )

story via RTnews, LeMonde, Wall Street Journal



They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. And what’s the other saying? Ah, yes – ’There’s nothing new under the sun.’ Whichever of these you choose, there’s no denying that this type of artistic doppelganger or visual adoration is showing up everywhere as evidenced in this photo set.

Although one of these comparisons is really a poke …

The Tumblr Who Wore It Better compiles these as part of an “ongoing visual research project presenting associations and common practices in contemporary art to promote a formal and conceptual dialogue over originality.”

If you’re looking for a primer to Contemporary and Modern Art, Who Wore it Better is a great place to start. You can grab a cliff notes visual version of info on some of the art world’s heavy hitters. And if you linger on a particular one – take a little time to do some research on the artist – knowledge is infectious. 



 Mario Sorrenti Raquel Zimmermann for Self Service :: Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari for Toilet Paper


 Jeff Koons Balloon Dog :: Paul McCarthy Balloon Dog


 Yayoi KusamaTender Are the Stairs to Heaven :: Ivan Navarro Impenetrable Shout)


 Tilda Swinton The Maybe :: Robert Barta Me


Olaf Nicolai Considering a multiplicity of appearances in light of a particular aspect of relevance. Or: Can art be concrete?  ::  Tauba Auerbach RGB Colorspace Atlas


 Marc Jacobs Autumn/Winter 2013 collection show :: Olafur Eliasson The Weather Project


 Janelle Monae Still From the Music Video of Q.U.E.E.N :: William Klein Still From Qui êtes vous, Polly Maggoo?


Robert Heinecken Waking Up in News America  ::  Jon Rafman Chuck Close Bathroom


*Thanks to Steve Streisguth for hipping us to this site.

We actually submitted one ourselves…

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Anna di Prospero Latina  ::  Andrew Wyeth Christina’s World