Another Big Butt Plug from Paul McCarthy on Display
Paul McCarthy is an artist with a penchant for giant inflatable sex toys. He proudly displays his creations in full public view – and has received what can be described as a mixed response at best from the public.
At the Watermill Benefit, Paul McCarthy unveiled a 60-foot high, all black butt plug. The big butt plug loomed imposingly over the entire exhibition. Unbelievably, this was hardly the most overtly sexual piece of the day, with multiple live performance pieces involving full nudity and plenty more proudly oversized penises.
It’s not entirely clear what the piece was trying to achieve. The size of sex toys is creeping ever higher to accommodate more extreme tastes, so perhaps it was a comment on that. Then again, it could just as easily have been the inherent funniness of sticking a big butt plug in the open for people to laugh at that motivated him.
But for Paul McCarthy, his fixation on creating larger than life sex toys is far from over. Notably, one of his inflatable sculptures, Tree, evoked extreme hostility when it was unveiled in Paris.
Although the sculpture ostensibly represented a simplistic Christmas tree, the shape was one clearly meant to bring to mind images of a big butt plug. The sculpture lasted barely two days before being destroyed – and Paul McCarthy himself was physically attacked by the outraged public.
It’s difficult to have sympathy with McCarthy despite the unacceptable treatment he received. He candidly admitted that the Tree sculpture was blatantly supposed to be seen for the giant butt plug that it actually resembled. A healthy openness and positive attitude towards sex and experimentation with toys is one thing, but placing a crude version of a sex toy in a full public space is another – especially when the artist himself is only looking to make ‘a joke’ rather than invite the audience to engage with the work.
The differences between the reactions of the British public and the French show a stark difference. Are the Brits simply showing their famous stiff upper lip, or are the French right to get so worked up over an undisguised attack on public decency?
One can’t help but wonder if the British are simply more comfortable with sex toys, including big butt plugs, than their compatriots across the Channel. After all, the British do buy more sex toys online than nearly everybody else in the world – including the French.
Whatever the case, Paul McCarthy is likely to have a few more sexual surprises (and big butt plugs!) for us over the next few years and the response to them will likely be just as interesting as the art itself.
Perhaps next time Paul McCarthy fancies unleashing his latest creation, he would be better off keeping his big butt plugs in an environment where they can be appreciated for what they are. Despite being so on the nose, his sculptures are quite amusing in a simplistic manner.
PS: One of the best articles describing McCarthy's work is here along with another huge inflatable butt plug creation!
And here is the article on his Paris butt plug that REALLY pissed people off!
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