Currently erected over the Place Vendome in Paris, France is a giant 80ft inflatable sculpture which is meant to represent a festive Xmas tree. It was created by US artist Paul McCarthy as part of a contemporary arts festival and is simply entitled ‘Tree’. Its resemblance, however, to a butt plug has apparently made passers-by feel uncomfortable, while others claim the sculpture is a giant sex toy that “humiliates” Paris. McCarthy has admitted he was ‘having a little joke’ and the work was at one point vandalised and deflated.
King of the Inflatable Pasquinade
Given the controversial nature of artist, Paul McCarthy’s previous work I think ‘Tree’ is quite understated.
In Japan, he displayed giant inflatable poop; in Holland, Santa Claus holding a butt plug; and in the UK sculptures of former president George W Bush having sex with pigs.
McCarthy’s work is about corrupting innocent figures and symbols in larger than life colorful caricatures in everything from politics to Disney. I think his anal obsession is trying to tell us we’re all a bit retentive, we need to learn to let go…
I love his work – his lampooning of conformist sensibilities, his obvious (and hilarious) mockery of them – makes me think “Xmas Tree – My Arse!”
Best laugh I’ve had in ages, not at the work but his audacity. I don’t know how he got away with it in Paris, but thank you Paul 🙂