"For us, the idea of having a work that has contradictions is very important—when, in affirming something, it includes itself and attacks itself. How can you put together all of these things that have nothing to do with each other? You use glue! Glue can be an idea, a word. You can use an ideological glue."
From "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 5 (2009)
Featured in this video
“My work seems to be about tearing down and opening up conventions,” says Paul McCarthy, who bristles when asked what his responsibility is to the audience for his work. “My responsibility is to the ideas,” he explains, “that’s the difference between making art and making entertainment.” The segment begins with a series of motorized architectural works installed at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. McCarthy’s interest in performance is introduced through a series of minimal videos in which the artist uses his body as a tool. Later works show the artist performing similarly absurd tasks, only this time adopting a character and on a sound stage. “The persona usually started with a kind of mask or some sort of costume,” he says. The segment concludes in McCarthy’s Los Angeles studio where he and his assistants are shown working on a series of drawings and sculptures that include elements from Snow White, Hummel figurines, and a bust of President George W. Bush.