Park Avenue Armory

Paul McCarthy: WS

“What makes it all work is that Mr. McCarthy sees the Yahoo in himself and in us, and lets us see it too. In a world of brute, pandemic excess, self-knowledge is a minute thing, but a grace.”
The New York Times

The “ribald, pop-culture-obsessed provocateur” (The New York Times) Paul McCarthy applies his signature, irreverent wit to take aim at American myths and icons in WS, his largest work to date and the pinnacle of his creative output. Adding a touch of malice to subjects that have been traditionally revered for their innocence or purity, McCarthy weaves together a massive, fantastical forest of towering trees with grotesque video projections of iconic characters playing out their own fairy tale drama in a replica of his childhood home.

This daring social commentary lampoons the American dream and its cherished icons, bombarding the viewer with a sensory overload of scatological, sexual, violent, and debaucherous imagery that boldly forces the viewer to acknowledge the twisted underside to saccharine idols in popular culture. The result is a visceral, very challenging, immersive experience by one of the most influential and important artists of our generation.

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Paul McCarthy: WS is co-curated by the Armory’s Artistic Director Alex Poots and Hans-Ulrich Obrist in association with Tom Eccles.

The Armory is grateful to Ken Kuchin for his generous support of this installation.

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