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Paul McCarthy

(United States of America 04 Aug 1945 – )

Media categories
Time-based media, Video, DVD
Materials used
video, colour, sound, 50:01 min
3/10 + 2 AP
Signature & date
Signed and dated Certificate of authenticity, black felt tip pen "Paul McCarthy...3/30/2007". Signed label on Betacam master, black felt tip pen "Paul McCarthy".
Gift of Geoff and Vicki Ainsworth 2006
Accession number
© Paul McCarthy. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth.
Not on display
Further information

Performers/Participants: Paul McCarthy, Brian Butler, Sabine Hornig, Fredrik Nilsen and Barbara Smith

Originally trained as a painter, Paul McCarthy currently uses video and sculpture as his primary mediums. Coming from the context of 1960s American ‘happenings’ and performance art, McCarthy’s work seeks to destroy boundaries of taste, tradition and public morality. In ‘Painter’ the mythology of the artist as hero is attacked in a grotesquely parodic performance that unambiguously points to the abstract expressionists. McCarthy said in a 1993 interview that his work came out of kids’ television in Los Angeles. Performing as the painter, McCarthy undermines pre-packaged ideas about the creative process by turning it into an absurdist soap-opera.

Bibliography (3)

Dan Cameron, Paul McCarthy, 'The mirror stage', pg. 57-124, 2000, 59, 63, 180-183 (colour illus.).

Ulrike Groos, Paul McCarthy, videos 1970-1997, 'Painter', pg.142-146, 2003, 144 (colour illus.) 145-146. text in German and English

Magnus af Petersens, Paul McCarthy Head Shop/Shop Head, 'Paul McCarthy's 40 years of hard work - an attempt at a summary', pg. 9-23, 2006, 11, 21, 36, 37, 44, 45, 416-423 (colour illus.).