Christmas tree, sex toy.. You decide…
This inflatable “Christmas tree” erected in Paris is making passers-by feel a little uncomfortable.
The 80ft-high object is raising eyebrows because of its uncanny resemblance to a sex toy, but is actually an installation by American artist Paul McCarthy.
Simply called “Tree”, it is towering over the Place Vendome as part of a contemporary art fair.
McCarthy, who is no stranger to controversy, designed the piece specifically for the “Fiac” festival but it has not been taken well by some critics.
I wonder why… but not much.
Update Saturday Oct 18, 2014: vandals have let the air out of the bag.
This morning Parisians awoke to find Paul McCarthy’s controversial sculpture “Tree” looking like a discarded giant prophylactic after it was deflated by vandals at the Place Vendôme, Paris, during the night.
Since its installation the art work has divided opinion with many Parisians outraged by the 80 foot sculpture’s similarity to an… er… adult novelty item. Well, it now turns out that “Tree” was indeed inspired by that very item as artist McCarthy told Le Monde newspaper that “It all started as a joke.”
“…I realised it resembled a Christmas tree, but it is an abstract work. People can be offended if they want to think of it as a plug, but for me it is more of an abstraction.”
The “abstraction” was lost on some Parisians with one irate passerby slapping the 69-year-old artist in the face and shouting:
“You’re not French and this has no place in the square.”
McCarthy was allegedly dazed but unhurt by the assault and asked:
“Does this sort of thing happen often in Paris?”