Place Vendome

Ooh La La! Who would have thought that an 80ft tall ‘work of art’, that looks like a giant version of a chunky crayon (for toddlers) would create a scandalous controversy, of ‘soap -opera’ like proportions. It includes sex, violence and politics! Here’s the full story with todays latest update.

Place Vendome

The inflatable structure, created by Paul McCarthy, upset Parisians so much that they took to the press, social media and the streets to express their anger at the erection of this ‘eye-sore’ positioned at the heart of Place Vendome.  Some, unbelievably, even resorted to violence!

The artwork called ‘Tree” was put up at the Place Vendome last Thursday but by Friday it was attacked and essentially ruined by protestors.

Why? Because according to locals,the exhibit insulted Paris after the artist who is from Australia but lives in LA, told a newspaper that it was inspired by a sex-toy! McCarthy was joking, but his sense of humour was lost on many residents and politicians who felt perturbed by the presence of his plastic masterpiece.

Tension around the artists’ work escalated, following a shocking personal attack on the artist himself! McCarthy was slapped repeatedly in the street, by a passer-by allegedly yelling ” You are not French and your work has no business being on this square!”

Place VendomeFollowing this assault ‘Tree’ was then vandalised and subsequently collapsed.

Fearing it would be ruined, the artist decided to deflate the piece, which was actually created for the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC’s “Hors Murs” public art program) opening on Wednesday 22nd October at the Grand Palais.

The Mayor of Paris, Anna Hidalgo came out to defend the piece and show her disgust for the violence ”

“Paris will not succumb to the threats of those who, by attacking an artist or a work, are attacking artistic freedom…Art has its place in our streets and nobody will be able to chase it away.”

She insisted it should be resurrected, the Art Fair suggested the same, but it seems they were fighting a deflating battle; because the artist decided he would not be prepared to erect his controversial piece afterall.

Today McCarthy announced: Instead of the piece being about a discussion about how objects exist as language with layers of meaning, a violent reaction occurredI am not interested in the possibility of such confrontation and physical violence, or continuing to put those around the object at risk.”

Paul McCarthy’s own exhibition “Chocolate Factory” opens at the Monnaie de Paris on Saturday. McCarthy is no stranger to controversial imagery and given his most recent challenging creations we advise you to approach this exhibition with caution (sic).

Love MLP x