Paul McCarthy - Contemporary Art Part I New York Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Hauser & Wirth, Zurich

  • Catalogue Essay

    Highly influential artist Paul McCarthy challenges the conventions of art making with a commentary on a combination of pop culture clichés, social taboos, and historical references. Evidenced by the current lot, Green Grey Michael Jackson 1, is the artist’s inspiration from pop imagery. A 1988 sculpture by Jeff Koons, Michael Jackson and Bubbles, depicting Jackson and the professional chimpanzee and companion, Bubbles, served as the initial source for McCarthy’s exploration of Michael Jackson as subject.With the Koons work as the starting point, McCarthy embarked on a full series of works utilizing the recognizable image of the fallen King of Pop, exaggerated to grotesque effect in a consideration of the role of celebrity in current culture.
    "With gigantic blocky masses for heads that look unstable in proportion to their damaged bodies—forever monstrous and mute— they were the perfect doppelgangers for a distressed father-and-son duo. The dice are always loaded for the patriarchal pairs who populate McCarthy‘s work and who evince a strained camaraderie in which simmering brutality is sublimated as melodramatic kitsch."  (J. Augikos, “Paul McCarthy—Reviews: NewYork,” ArtForum, January 2003).


Green Grey Michael Jackson 1


C-print in multiple parts face-mounted to Plexiglas on wood and Styrofoam support.

102 1/2 x 52 1/2 x 4 3/4 in. (260.4 x 133.4 x 12 cm).

Signed and dated “Paul McCarthy 2003” on the reverse.This work is unique and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $122,500

Contemporary Art Part I

14 May 2009, 7pm
New York