April 21, 2019 - Hauser & Wirth Publishers - Out now: Paul McCarthy and Damon McCarthy: Caribbean Pirates
April 21, 2019

Hauser & Wirth Publishers

Photo: Ed Park.

Out now: Paul McCarthy and Damon McCarthy: Caribbean Pirates

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Hauser & Wirth Publishers presents Caribbean Pirates, a new artist book by Paul McCarthy and his son Damon McCarthy. The immense two-volume publication presents photographic documentation of Frigate and Houseboat, two works first begun in 2001 that take the lawlessness of piracy as a departure point. Exploring the ways bodies, sex, and violence all find themselves enmeshed in networks of cultural references—spanning from American consumerism to Disney and classical cinema—these works are an essential component of Paul McCarthy’s acclaimed multidisciplinary practice, which merges performance, sculpture, photography, painting, video, installation, and virtual reality. The kaleidoscopic documentation of Frigate and Houseboat is accompanied by Catching Mayhem by Its Tail, an extensively illustrated new text by John C. Welchman.

McCarthy writes; "DISNEY DOWN DOO THE HOLE DEATH AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HOLE begins begin begin began downward downward, hell is but a float liken a dead circus caucus past the restraint restaurant know one at the helm at the helm mate fantasy matting four abreast in a suburb boat begins with float float life is but a dream past your favorite sushi sexy house bar down you go know one knows ho ho...."

About the artist
Paul McCarthy is widely considered to be one of the most influential and groundbreaking contemporary American artists. Born in 1945 and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, he first established a multi-faceted artistic practice, which sought to break the limitations of painting by using unorthodox materials such as bodily fluids and food. He has since become known for visceral, often hauntingly humorous work in a variety of mediums—from performance, photography, film, and video, to sculpture, drawing, and painting.

During the 1990s, he extended his practice into installations and stand-alone sculptural figures, utilizing a range of materials such as fiberglass, silicone, animatronics, and inflatable vinyl. Playing on popular illusions and cultural myths, fantasy and reality collide in a delirious yet poignant exploration of the subconscious, in works that simultaneously challenge the viewer’s phenomenological expectations.

Whether absent or present, the human figure has been a constant in his work, either through the artist‘s own performances or the array of characters he creates to mix high and low culture and provoke an analysis of our fundamental beliefs. These playfully oversized characters and objects critique the worlds from which they are drawn: Hollywood, politics, philosophy, science, art, literature, and television. McCarthy’s work thus locates the traumas lurking behind the stage set of the American Dream and identifies their counterparts in the art historical canon. McCarthy earned a BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1969, and an MFA in multimedia, film, and art from USC in 1973. For 18 years, he taught performance, video, installation, and art history in the New Genres department at UCLA, where he influenced future generations of West Coast artists and he has exhibited extensively worldwide. McCarthy’s work comprises collaborations with artist-friends such as Mike Kelley and Jason Rhoades, as well as his son Damon McCarthy.

About Hauser & Wirth Publishers
Since its founding in 1992, Hauser & Wirth Publishers has presented unique, object-like books that encourage an understanding and appreciation of contemporary art. Its backlist comprises monographs, artists’ books, exhibition catalogues, and collections of artists’ writings—often bringing new and overlooked aspects of an artist’s creative practice into focus. By commissioning original, in-depth scholarship to give thoughtful insight into featured art objects, Hauser & Wirth Publishers aims to craft accessible and lasting records of the gallery’s exhibitions and artists’ work.

On June 8, 2019, Hauser & Wirth Publishers will open a stand-alone global headquarters and flagship bookshop in the historic center of Zurich, Switzerland. The new publishing headquarters joins Hauser & Wirth’s three gallery locations in its native Switzerland and marks a significant step in the continued expansion of the imprint. The new space will open during Zurich Art Weekend with a party and book launch for its newest publication, Louise Bourgeois & Pablo Picasso.


Hauser & Wirth Publishers
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