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Paul McCarthy at the Whitechapel

From: art reviews
Category: Art
Date: 10 November 2005


I liked the downstairs as you come in sculptures best, their industrial colours and plasticine texture and penises and pipes and pirates cartoonish, combined the dumb pleasures of pornography and toys, with a vulgarity, which if not schocking, is happily grotesque as well as materially and aesthetically stimulating. His giant disney installation, down the road, and made with his son (good relationship), have his usual motifs, sauce, tomato and brown, bulbous noses, violence and sex, and projections of prefromance, and dirty old objects; spectacular in scale, its bite was smaller. the idea, obvious but good, that the pirates of carribean and all that disney crap are a facade behind which lurks the violence and degradation of porno, and perhaps history... no that's not it... too grandiose a way of putting it,... there is something which clicks when you see the run down carnival of crap mccarthy produces, which is like all the shit we pay to enjoy, movies, theme parks, internet, etc. It all goes together without being didactic, and is fun and ugly, and makes you recall some of the revolting revolving images that are thrown our way, and stored in recesses of the mind.

The protagonists in his work are us, groaning and panting and shitting our way to riches and fullness of stomachs.

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