Paul McCarthy | USA

Mountaineer (Black), 2008-2009

Ed. 1/3 + 2 AP
261.8 / 126.5 / 167 cm

Private Collection,

Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Photo: courtesy of Stefan Altenburger Photography

Paul McCarthy is a true contemporary master who has achieved a key role in art history over his decades-long career. Combining minimalism and performance, Walt Disney and George W. Bush,McCarthy has used the human body, with all its desires andtaboos, to create a unique, irreverent, and satirical language that combines Pop Art with fairy tales, the nightmares of the daily news with universal archetypes. McCarthy’s videos, performances, installations and sculptures transport visitors to a universe that combines Hollywood glamour with the dark side

of the American dream. “It seems very hard for some people--especially those in high places, but also those striving for high places--to grasp a simple truth: The United States does not belong in Iraq. It is not our country. Our presence is causing death, suffering, destruction, and so large sections of the population are rising against us. Our military is then reacting with indiscriminate force, bombing and shooting and rounding up people simply on “suspicion.”

Amnesty International, a year after the invasion, reported: “Scores of unarmed people have been killed due to excessive or unnecessary use of lethal force by coalition forces during public demonstrations, at checkpoints, and in house raids. Thousands of people have been detained [estimates range from 8,500 to 15,000], often under harsh conditions, and subjected to prolonged and often unacknowledged detention. Many have been tortured or ill-treated, and some have died in custody.…We do not need another war President. We need a peace President. And those of us in this country who feel this way should make our desire known in the strongest of ways to the man who may be our next occupant of the White House.”
Howard Zinn,
June 2004