paul mccarthy : pig island at fondazione nicola trussardi paul mccarthy : pig island at fondazione nicola trussardi
may 21, 2010

paul mccarthy : pig island at fondazione nicola trussardi

‘static (pink)’ by paul mc carthy, 2004-2009 silicone, stainless steel 271 x 164 x 324 cm, private collection installation view of the exhibition ‘pig island’ photo by marco de scalzi image courtesy fondazione nicola trussardi

 

 

fondazione nicola trussardi presents ‘pig island’, the first solo show of the legendary american artist paul mccarthy with an italian institution. the exhibition is on show inside the palazzo citterio (it has been closed for over 25 years) in the historical brera area of milan on show from may 20 to july 4, 2010.

paul mccarthy pig island detail of ‘static (pink)’ photo by marco de scalzi image courtesy fondazione nicola trussardi

 

 

an explosive mix of freudian symbolism, paul mccarthy’s installations, videos, sculptures and drawings picture contemporary america as a hysterical theme park, controlling its citizens by indulging appetites for violence, infantilism, sex and fast food. combining minimalism and performance, walt disney and george w. bush, mccarthy has used the human body, with all its desires and taboos, to create a unique, irreverent, and satirical language that combines pop art with fairy tales, the nightmares of the daily news with universal archetypes.

paul mccarthy pig island detail of ‘static (pink)’ photo by marco de scalzi image courtesy fondazione nicola trussardi

 

 

I am interested in horror movies and B-movies as a genre. they are alternative to the hollywood blockbuster. they’re inconsistent. the illusions are flawed. I am interested in the fake arm and head being cut off, fake blood, fake sex. they reveal themselves as film, as fake, but yet consider them effective. I am not satirising horror films. I want to make something that alludes to horror and use it to make something else, something that has no clear explanation.’ — paul mccarthy

paul mccarthy pig island beatrice trussardi image © designboom

 

 

‘mc carthy highlights a certain joy in being a willing – as opposed to unwitting – victim of modern swinehood, wallowing in a mess of marketing, advertising and general consumerism,’ points out art critic mark rappolt.

installation view of the exhibition ‘pig island’ at press preview image © designboom

 

 

the show explores an underground bunker carved out beneath the city, it is installed in one of the grandest examples of contemporary architecture in milan: still completely hidden to the public, and left in a state of disrepair where one finds the archeological artifacts of a never-never-land: ‘pig island’ combines paul mc carthy’s hypertrophic, rabelaisian works with the rawness of a gigantic, endless work-in-progress.

paul mccarthy pig island ‘dreaming’ by paul mc carthy, 2005 painted silicone, t-shirt, artificial hair, plastic, styrofoam, garden chair 180 x 62 x 71 cm image © designboom

 

 

for the exhibition with fondazione nicola trussardi, paul mc carthy presents one of his most complex and ambitious works, ‘pig island’, a giant sculpture that grew in the artist’s studio to fill over 100 square meters with a surreal anthology of the themes that have cropped up throughout his career. the installation is a carnivalesque amusement park in which human beings behave like pigs. a treasure island in reverse, a sculptural shipwreck in which pirates and their heroines throw themselves with abandon into wild revels. its characters can finally cast off their inhibitions and reveal their all-too-human nature. this is a work-in-progress that mc carthy has been developing for over seven years, and which made its world debut now in milan.

detail of ‘dreaming’ image © designboom

 

 

‘in pig island some figures are realistic and others are abstract and deformed, turned into mush. a human becomes a pig and a pig becomes a human becomes mud form, pig island is a platform; we are on a platform. I always deconstruct and alter the object, mold and re-mould in rubber or chocolate. make the hands twice the normal size or refine the boots, cut off the boot and set it on the floor. it is constantly in this flux. appearing to be finished, but never finished, always implying a direction and than changing the direction. leading everybody on to believe that is finished, or that we are closed to finish, and then completely abandoning that and than starting again. and in that process, the piece keeps going, it keeps building up.’ — paul mccarthy

detail of ‘dreaming’ image © designboom

‘black bow bilbao’ by paul mc carthy, 2001-2005 styrofoam, wood, silicone 122 x 92 x 127 cm image © designboom

‘black bow bilbao’ image © designboom

‘ketchup sandwich’ by paul mc carthy, 1970 glass, ketchup, heinz ketchup bottles 76 x 76 x 76 cm image © designboom

‘ketchup sandwich’ image © designboom

‘ketchup sandwich’ image © designboom

installation view photo by marco de scalzi image courtesy fondazione trussardi

‘chair with butt plug’ by paul mc carthy, 1978 wooden chair, doc johnson butt plug, bolts 89 x 46 x 43 cm image © designboom

‘paula jones’ by paul mc carthy, 2010 silicone, aluminum, wood, latex, polyurethane 170 x 122 x 244 cm image © designboom

‘paula jones’ image © designboom

‘pig island’ by paul mc carthy, 2003-2010 mixed media 11 x 10 x 6 m photo by marco de scalzi image courtesy fondazione trussardi

‘pig island’ by paul mc carthy image © designboom

‘pig island’ image © designboom

detail of ‘pig island’ installation image © designboom

detail of ‘pig island’ installation image © designboom

detail of ‘angelina jolie’, part of ‘pig island’ installation image © designboom

detail of ‘pig island’ installation image © designboom

detail of ‘pig island’ installation image © designboom

bush in a detail of ‘pig island’ installation image © designboom

detail of ‘pig island’ installation image © designboom

detail of ‘pig island’ installation image © designboom

detail of ‘pig island’ installation image © designboom

detail of ‘pig island’ installation image © designboom

detail of ‘pig island’ installation image © designboom

installation view with ‘F-fort party’ video image © designboom

‘F-fort party’ by paul mc carthy, 2005 2 channels video installation, 30’00” courtesy the artist and hauser & wirth

video installation image © designboom

‘pirate party’ by paul mc carthy – damon mc carthy, 2005 4 channels video installation, 92’00” and ‘houseboat party’ by paul mc carthy – damon mc carthy, 2005 3 channels video installation, 54’32” courtesy the artist and hauser & wirth

installation view with ‘daddies tomato ketchup inflatable’ image © designboom

 

‘daddies tomato ketchup inflatable’ by paul mc carthy, 2001 nylon fabric, fans, equipment 15 x 4 x 4 m image © designboom

curator massimiliano gioni portrait © designboom

paul mc carthy portrait © designboom

paul mc carthy was born in salt lake city, USA 1945. he lives and works in los angeles.

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

art news