Paul McCarthy Avenges His Butt Plug Fiasco

Paul McCarthy, Santa with TreePhoto: Svetlana Bachevanova via Paris Photo
Paul McCarthy, Santa with Tree
Photo: Svetlana Bachevanova via Paris Photo

Paul McCarthy is clearly not intimidated by the Parisian meltdown that took place last week over his sculpture, Tree. It caused an unknown assailant to slap him in the face (see “Paul McCarthy Beaten Up over Butt Plug Sculpture”) and the sculpture to be vandalized and subsequently removed (see “Vandalized Paul McCarthy Butt Plug Pulled from Paris Square”). Now, McCarthy is fighting back.

According to the Guardian, McCarthy is preparing an “aggressive” response to the dramatic events, which will be unveiled as part of his exhibition at the Paris Mint. McCarthy’s solo exhibition, entitled “Chocolate Factory,” also marks the reopening of the art space, after a three-year overhaul.

The exhibition’s press release defines the show as a “wonderland experience” in which the visitor will be “lured into a fairytale forest of giant inflatable Christmas trees.” Considering that the controversial sculpture that briefly graced the Place Vendôme was also described by McCarthy as a Christmas tree, it’s not hard to image what the trees at Mint will look like.

McCarthy’s exhibition will also feature a fully-functioning chocolate factory in which an assembly line of confectioners will produce likenesses of Christmas trees and Santa Claus.

The chocolate version of McCarthy's Santa with Tree<br>Photo: Svetlana Bachevanova via Paris Photo

The chocolate version of McCarthy’s Santa with Tree
Photo: Svetlana Bachevanova via Paris Photo

According to the New York Times, Guillaume Robic, spokesman for Paris Mint, said that McCarthy has also created a new installation in direct response to last week’s events. The piece will comprise a bed and video, featuring his hand writing violently and a soundtrack in which the artist reenacts the insults that were yelled at him at the Place Vendôme, which include: “You dirty American,” “You shouldn’t be here,” and “Your work is degenerate!”

McCarthy’s Parisian butt plug sculpture has become a symbol of sorts for artistic freedom, with President François Hollande declaring: “France will always be on the side of artists, just as I am on the side of Paul McCarthy.”

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