SEGMENT: Paul McCarthy in "Transformation"

Now Playing: SEGMENT: Paul McCarthy in "Transformation"

About this video

“My work seems to be about tearing down and opening up conventions,” says Paul McCarthy, who bristles when asked what his responsibility is to the audience for his work. “My responsibility is to the ideas,” he explains, “that’s the difference between making art and making entertainment.” The segment begins with a series of motorized architectural works installed at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. McCarthy’s interest in performance is introduced through a series of minimal videos in which the artist uses his body as a tool. Later works show the artist performing similarly absurd tasks, only this time adopting a character and on a sound stage. “The persona usually started with a kind of mask or some sort of costume,” he says. The segment concludes in McCarthy’s Los Angeles studio where he and his assistants are shown working on a series of drawings and sculptures that include elements from Snow White, Hummel figurines, and a bust of President George W. Bush.

Featured in this video

Additional Videos

Season Episode number Episode namesort icon Artists Duration Release date
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 2 Fantasy Jeff Koons 0:00 10/14/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 2 Fantasy Mary Heilmann 0:00 10/14/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 2 Fantasy Florian Maier-Aichen 0:00 10/14/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 2 Fantasy Cao Fei 0:00 10/14/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 1 Compassion
Carrie Mae Weems, Doris Salcedo, William Kentridge
0:00 10/07/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 1 Compassion William Kentridge 0:00 10/07/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 1 Compassion Carrie Mae Weems 0:00 10/07/2009
Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 5 (2009) 1 Compassion Doris Salcedo 0:00 10/07/2009