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Art & EntertainmentPaul McCarthy

December 7, 2010

Filmed in his Los Angeles studio alongside his son and frequent collaborator Damon McCarthy, artist Paul McCarthy reflects on the documentary process and on being interviewed about his work, drawing conclusions about how it’s the nature of television “to simplify existence” and the “difference between making art and making entertainment.”

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Credits

Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Robert Elfstrom. Sound: Doug Dunderdale. Editor: Joaquin Perez. Artwork Courtesy: Paul McCarthy. Special Thanks: Damon McCarthy

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Paul McCarthy

Paul McCarthy’s video-taped performances and provocative multimedia installations lampoon polite society, ridicule authority, and bombard the viewer with a sensory overload, of often sexually-tinged, violent imagery. With irreverent wit, McCarthy often takes aim at cherished American myths and icons—Walt Disney, the Western, and even the Modern Artist—adding a touch of malice to subjects that have been traditionally revered for their innocence or purity. Whether conflating real-world political figures with fantastical characters such as Santa Claus, or treating erotic and abject content with frivolity and charm, McCarthy’s work confuses codes, mixes high and low culture, and provokes an analysis of fundamental beliefs.

In this interview, conducted in Los Angeles in 2009, Paul McCarthy discusses his videos, from early productions like Ma Bell (1971) up through later works like Bossy Burger (1991).

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Paul McCarthy

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